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, habits, 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
Children 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
Divorces 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
Bulling 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
Minds 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
Children 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
In 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
Iranian 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
A 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 Léaud) who 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
A 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.com, www.imdb.com.