I have found a lovely gift for my Mum. (It is NOT a Mother’s Day present. It is an I Love You and Thank You present.) It is a film and I had to watch it before I wrapped it. Now I have to tell you about it, because it is a wonderful film.
It is “I am eleven” and I was delighted to meet the thirteen 11 year olds who Genevieve Bailey interviewed. They came from 15 different countries, and spoke so engagingly about their lives and their hopes for themselves and the wider world. The only requirement to be interviewed was to be eleven.
All 13 of the kids were wonderful and so open. There was Billy in London, who made me laugh out loud; the Iraqi/Swedish rappers, Osama and Sahin; Goh impressed me with his confidence and surety as he worked with the elephants in Thailand; Siham lives in a remote village in Morocco; Remi, a thoughtful, wise French boy.
Six of the kids, five girls, Priya, Ginisha, Vandana, Sree-Kutty and Remya, and one boy, Jitter, lived in an orphanage in India. Despite hardships their smiles were wide and they spoke optimistically about their futures. They were delighted to be moving into a new building for their orphanage, one they could call home.
As you can tell their backgrounds were very diverse. It was fascinating to read the notes with the DVD, explaining how Genevieve met the children. Some, like Oliver in New York, were friends of friends of friends. To meet Giorgi she walked kilometres in Sophia before finding him. Sharif was interviewed when he offered to clean the windows of the house Genevieve was staying in. She found Luca after asking a woman in a bookshop in Berlin if she had any children. The woman didn’t have any of her own who were the right age. However she had a book, “Ten in Berlin”. Luca was one of the kids in the book, and she lived right across the street!
Genevieve Bailey is the directory, producer, cinematographer, editor, as well as distributor. That makes it sound like a film cobbled together in a back room. It is not. It is a well crafted, highly engaging and charming film. I would highly recommend it. The DVD is available on the website iameleven.com I just know that my Mum will love it……….once she gets the DVD player to work.