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Best Child Psychology Films ever made (10+1list)

Best Child Psychology Films ever made

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Child Psychology Films ever made: From birth to adolescence, the period loosely termed as our ‘childhood’ seems to be the most important chapter of our human life when seen from the point of view of a psychologist. Make no mistake, your nature, personality, Child-Psychology-Filmshabits, characteristics, hobbies, passions and fears all have their seeds deep embedded in your youth!

And thus Child Psychology is not only a significant subject for the scholars but an equally important concern for the parents if they really want to know their children and nurture them, love them and raise them in the best way possible.

There are many movies that have tried to get an insight into a child’s mind, the world from a kid’s perspective, an effective way of portraying their innocence, their emotions and the unconditional love they seek and share. But only a few films have honestly dealt with the various sensitive problems a child faces while growing up!

And so here we are with the Best Child Psychology Films ever made. Watch and if possible learn!

10. Broken (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8AmM54kf1M


For children violence in any form (even if they are only the observer) has a huge impact on them. It robs their innocence and makes them feel in a way ‘broken’.

It’s about a young girl, her family and her neighborhood and how her life changes after witnessing certain violent events.

A highly engaging British film directed by Rufus Norris, humorous yet intense; superb acting by Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Lily James!

9. Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn_2Ie_jtX8

Child-Psychology-FilmsChildren are so prone to academic pressure from such a small age, strict parents and rigid school regimes doesn’t allow them to discover their passion, face their problems and overcome them.

Directed by Aamir Khan (and Amole Gupte uncredited), the movie brilliantly explores the mind of an imaginative child Darsheel Safary and probably the best teacher-child relationship I have seen on screen!

8. What Maisie Knew (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHHt5eYl95c

Child-Psychology-FilmsDivorces are always a painful affair for the adults but it is the children who really suffer.

Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, an emotional film from the perspective of a young girl who is caught right in the middle of her parent’s bitter custody battle.

Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Steve Coogan and Onata Aprile as the tormented girl Maisie who knew … 

7. Mean Creek (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZESQyJX_pis

Child-Psychology-FilmsBulling has always been a serious issue specially among children.

But in this case a bully is being lured to a trip into the woods – a planned revenge from one of his earlier victims. But the problem with young children is that they don’t know where to stop!

Directed by Jacob Estes, this is a highly underrated yet brilliant movie and one of the best insight into teen-psychology!

6. The Hunt (2012)

Jagten (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK9cO7QN8Ak

Child-Psychology-FilmsMinds of children sometimes play cruel tricks and their one innocent playful lie – may be it’s just a game for them but it can certainly ruin the life of an adult forever!

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, the Danish movie touches a sensitive subject where a young girl’s false account of a molestation story turns a Kindergarten teacher’s life upside down! A superb drama brilliantly performance by Mads Mikkelsen.

5. Ordinary People (1980)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdjlLq1tqmU

Child-Psychology-FilmsChildren react to death of their close ones in most unexpected ways, their pain can often turn into guilt that eventually leads to strain and emotional instability.

Directorial debut of Robert Redford, a film that dares to explore the complexity of relations within a family after the death of their older son. Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton at their very best.

4. Lord of the Flies (1963)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtzU3gfLV3M

Child-Psychology-FilmsIn the complete absence of adults how does the children act, what are their priorities and instincts?

Directed by Peter Brook, this film is a savage case-study of a group of young survivors of a plane crash and what they do to survive and declare their dominance over one another!

Based on the famous book by William Golding, undoubtedly one of the best works on child psychology till date. Though as in most cases, the book is much better than the film!

3. Children of Heaven (1997)

Bacheha-Ye aseman (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqxvZeQsVzY

Child-Psychology-FilmsIranian directors are globally acclaimed for their children oriented dramas, simple stories and absolutely brilliant performances and this film by director Majid Majidi is no exception.

A young boy (Amir Farrokh Hashemian) has lost the shoes of his little sister (Bahare Seddiqi) and he is determined to find them! A film that explores a child’s unconditional love and devotion!

2. The 400 Blows (1959)

Les quatre cents coups (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i89oN8v7RdY

Child-Psychology-FilmsA childhood without the care and affection of the loved ones (specially parents) is the worst suffering for a child.

Directorial debut of François Truffaut, the acclaimed French director tells the story of a neglected mischievous young boy (Jean-Pierre Léaudwho is hungry for love and affection.

This film starts The Adventures of Antoine Doinel, the epic collaboration between the director and actor which includes in total five films – four features and one short.

1. Pather Panchali (1955)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr4yNlLZ-uI

Child-Psychology-FilmsA poor family from a rural Bengal-village struggling for a better life but does kids really get affected by poverty? They seem to find happiness in the midst of the most simple and unexpected surroundings!

Directorial debut of Satyajit Ray, the first part of the acclaimed Apu Trilogy which deals with the innocence of a child’s mind and his attachment to his family!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The Reflecting Skin (1990)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxlnDRqPUXE

Children are often very possessive of people whom they look up to or admire, especially their elder brothers and sisters. And they also have a vivid imagination!

Directorial debut of Philip Ridley, this brilliantly shot movie is about a young boy who is convinced that the woman his brother loves is actually a vampire. It’s a dark thriller that perfectly captures the vulnerability of a young mind.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.


In Conversation with Rima Das as her film ‘Man with the Binoculars’ premieres at the Tallinn Black Nights Festival today!

interviewed by Souranath Banerjee

Rima Das – an actor turned writer/director, a rare combination of a spiritual soul and a beautiful smile!

Her debut film Man with the Binoculars : Antardrishti was recently been selected, screened and very much appreciated in this year’s Mumbai Film Festival! 

In Conversation with Rima Das as she talks about her journey as a filmmaker!

Hello Rima welcome to Cinema Forensic!

Thank you so much. My pleasure.

Your debut film ‘Man with the Binoculars’, originally titled as ‘Antardrishti’ recently got selected in MAMI and it was very much appreciated by the audience! What do you feel?

I am very happy!

Actually my film was earlier screened at Cannes this year and it recently got officially selected at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival too!

And being a regional film (it is in Assamese) Conversation with Rima Daswhile I was writing the script, I was sure that may be only 30% people will like it. Because ‘silence’ is one of the main characters in the film and I didn’t know if it will connect to the audience. Though I didn’t have any particular audience in mind while making it but then again I was scared; specially in MAMI being the first public screening in India. But people really loved it, even the youngsters liked it. That really encouraged me!

And now I can think about the release of the film. I feel a little relaxed (laughs).

Wow! Silence being the protagonist of the film – that’s really interesting! Tell me how did you come up with the story of your film?

One day at a friend’s place, I saw a pair of binoculars. He told me he was planning to gift it to his retired father. That intrigued me. I wondered what the old man would do with the binoculars. What would he look into, what would be see? And that became the primary idea of my film, and then there are four different love stories also played in the film.

And yes, Silence – actually the films that I could really relate to are those which have more of silent moments you know. Then in Mumbai there is so much noise, I feel people need some time to Conversation with Rima Dasbreathe, and through my cinema I want people to understand the beauty of silence. Personally silence always relaxes me.

So from being an actor to a filmmaker – how did that happen?

While into acting I was always interested in direction. Then I got to know about the 5D DSLR camera, a small wonder with which I can do all my experiments.

Actually in 2009 I made my first short film, ‘Pratha’. It was selected in Chicago Short Film Festival and some other festivals as well. So that way I got some confidence. I understood that I just needed to tell my story, bought a 5D and in the next one year I did almost ten short films and music videos. I kept on experimenting.

But then for my first feature I needed time, and to avoid any external pressure I didn’t want to involve anyone else. So this film is self-produced. I realised that I needed a good cinematographer and lot of time – then only my vision can truly come out in my film. My film is more of a visual thing – it’s a visual poetry!

That’s brilliant! So how was the shoot like?

I wrote the script for almost one and half years while in Mumbai. Then I shifted to Assam and within eleven days I fixed all casting, costumes, location, props everything. Thanks to a bunch of energetic youngsters from my village and my younger cousin-sister Mallika Das who were helping me with all Conversation with Rima Dasthese. Only my cinematographer and the main actor were professionals. Other than that everyone was inexperienced, just helping me out.

My protagonist is working for more than 40 years, he is a National award winner actor! So again it was a challenge for me to direct somebody so experienced along with all the new faces. But I was very sure that I will do only two or three scenes a day, and there were lots of retakes also specially for the long takes.

You also acted in the film right?

Yes, but I don’t think it was a very good decision, probably the only thing I regret while making the film (Laughs). I feel I could have concentrated more on direction but at the time it was also difficult to get some other actress, so I had to do it.

But then also everything went perfect and you have made such a great film! Now tell me something about yourself, where are you from? 

See I belong from a very small town in Assam. I grew up watching a bit of television but then again my father being a teacher – it was always like studies come first. I wasn’t aware of much of cinema,
Conversation with Rima Dasspecially world cinema.

But from my childhood I was interested in acting, even in school and college I did plays and all. Then I decided to come to Mumbai and try out acting as a career. But being from North East my Hindi and English were not so good; I was always the best in my hometown but in Mumbai it was very difficult – I got insecure and went into depression.

But one thing that happened good in Mumbai was that I got exposure to world cinema and I got addicted to them. And then I wanted to create, I think that is when the transition from an actor to director happened for me.

And what are your inspirations, any particular films or film makers you particularly admire?

See I like to watch all kinds of films, from Tarantino to Bergman – everything. But then again Iranian films, films of Wong Kar-Wai. Oh and then Terrence Malick – I somehow connect with him more because may be I am a spiritual person and so …  I also like to Conversation with Rima Dasknow what is life and all these things you know.

Even Pather Panchali by Ray inspired me a lot!

Even while working on my second film ‘Village Rockstars‘, a story inspired by incidents from my own rural upbringing, I keep taking inspiration from the these great film makers.

It’s like a privilege to watch such directors you know –  ‘aisa lagta hai ke humne toh kuch nehi kiya, humme toh bas dekhne ko mila hai!’

All the best for your second film! It all sounds like an awesome journey Rima, congratulations once again!

Thank you so much. Ya, now sitting here and looking back it feels amazing, it’s like a miracle! (laughs).

The genius of Ritwik Ghatak

The genius of Ritwik Ghatak

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Renowned Indian Film Director Ritwik Ghatak made his first film Nagarik in 1952 (even before Satyajit Ray filmed Pather Panchali) but unfortunately the film was released twenty four years later, after the death of the director himself.

Probably Nagarik was the first art film of such caliber in the history of Indian Cinema but certainly never got the recognition it deserved.

Did Ritwik Ghatak himself got the recognition he deserved?

Well, I guess so.

Ritwik Ghatak was awarded Padma Sri for Arts in 1970 by the government of India.

His name is always taken in the same breath along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen considering them as the Best Indian/Bengali directors of all times.

Bagged the National Award for the story of his film Jukti Tokko Aar Goppo (Reason, Debate and a Story).

The popular film Madhumati (staring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala, directed by Bimal Roy) got nominated in the Film Fare Award for the Best Story category and guess who wrote the story – Ritwik Ghatak.

Some of his films especially Meghe Dhaka Tara, Komal Gandhar, Subarnarekha, Ajantrik, Jukti Tokko Aar Goppo and Bari Theke Paliye are immensely appreciated and analysed by all the students in all the major film schools (especially in India).

Isn’t that enough recognition?

May be. May be not.

But one thing i can say with certainty – in this world some people doesn’t give a damn about other’s recognition and Ritwik Ghatak was one such genius.

His unique faming and composition techniques, his innovative sound designing, his realistic take on the society challenged the regular norms of film-making in that era.

In both conceptual and practical levels Ritwik Ghatak dared to be artistically different and he redefined Cinema in his own way.

Probably Ritwit Ghatak’s biggest recognition would be the influence he had (i am sure he still has) on the future generations of film makers including the likes of Kumar Shahani, Mani Kual, Mira Nair, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ketan Mehta, John Abraham among many others.

The genius of Ritwik Ghatak, his dedication towards cinema and his vision can be best expressed in his own words –

Film-making is not an esoteric thing to me. I consider film-making – to start with – a personal thing. If a person does not have a vision of his own, he cannot create.

I believe in committed cinema.
I mean, commitment in the broadest sense of the term.

Apur Panchali (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5

Apur Panchali is a Bengali film (in Bengali language) fortunate enough to get a release in Mumbai and of course I didn’t miss the opportunity.

Last year I watched a film Shabdo directed by Kaushik Ganguly and since then I try not to miss any of his films. In Apur Panchali the director has once again proved his mettle – his unique concept and innovative execution brings back our belief in Bengali Cinema.

Child actors are famous even before they are old enough to spell the word ‘fame’. But how many of them can retain their fame till adulthood? Do people really care what happens to them?

Kaushik Ganguly showcases this issue as the backdrop of his film Apur Panchali as he reveals the life story of the most celebrated child actor of one time  – Subir Banerjee, who played the part of young Apu in the  film ‘Pather Panchali’ directed by Satyajit Ray.

Now as the story goes, a young film-student Arka (Gaurav Chakrabarty) is responsible to contact the long forgotten child actor Subir Banerjee since a German award committee has decided to invite him to Germany in order to felicitate him as the most famous child actor of all times!

Now isn’t that great news? Young Arka is super excited.

But when he finally meets the middle aged, temperamental Subir Banerjee (played superbly by Ardhendu Banerjee), we (the audience) along with Arka are surprised to see that the once world-famous child actor now doesn’t even want to admit that he had any connection with films or acting whatsoever.

Subir Banerjee is living a lonely, middle-class life far from the stardom of the glamorous film world. He even refuses to accept the felicitation letter and gets irritated whenever the name ‘Apu’ or ‘Pather Panchali’ comes up!

Now that’s unexpected and bad news especially for our friend Arka – who needs to work hard to convince this grumpy, ill-tempered man to make him see some sense.

What is the reason of Subir Banerjee’s aloofness? Did he ever want to become an actor? How different was his real life when compared with the reel life of Apu as shown in Satyajit Ray’s next two sequels of Pather Panchali?

These questions and much more are answered in this sensitive, emotional drama Apur Panchali.

Kaushik Ganguly’s decision to use the original Pather Panchali footage along with the present story-line easily creates a nostalgic mood that works in favor of the director.

But on the other hand the constant usage of such classic footage from a Satyajit Ray-directed film gives the audience an unnecessary chance to compare Apur Panchali with the original masterpiece.  You know it’s unfair but then again you cannot help it.

Parambrata Chatterjee, Parno Mitra and Ritwick Chakraborty – all of them have given matured performances. Kaushik Ganguly as usual makes his presence in a small but sensitive role – a special appearance.

Film Editor Bodhaditya Banerjee have done a great job – very well planned and flawless editing throughout the film.

Indraadip Das Gupta’s music is pleasing to the ears – well balanced and appropriate.   

Overall Apur Panchali is a quality film very well written and presented. I will highly recommend it to anyone with a passion for movies.

Bengalis – a must watch; even if you are not a Bong but love Satyajit Ray films especially Pather Panchali – go for it.

Trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxKylESYoa0