Archives for category: Babyhood film

blackerI watched this brilliant documentary by Molly Dineen, last night and was sad to see more evidence of a child being failed by the system in the UK, but interestingly he was descibed as excelling in a new school in Jamaica. Blacker’s son was in a situation where the school was telling his parents that he wasn’t suited to a school environment, and he had ADHD. Then they took him to Jamaica and suddenly he is an “A” student.

When I started out trying to make a film about home education, I kept hearing over and over again from people who had been totally failed by the school system, and try as I might to keep my sights set on home education I kept being pulled to document how hard it is to get on in school if you are in any way “different”.

It is complicated, as now we know the impact ACE‘s can have on a person’s life, so we can think it all happens at home, but the effects on children in the school system of repeated detrimental treatment makes some children give up learning for life. And that costs a lot, further down the line.

I once got involved in making a short film, which sadly never found funding, to describe exactly how this plays out in the UK. It was called The True Cost, and it explained how the criminal justice system, social care and mental health services are battling to cope with an epidemic of crime, family breakdown, challenging behaviour and mental illness, with bills that reach into the realm of billions – like £70 billion at least (and these are old figures). They then set out to descibe how these costs could be reduced hugely by investing money right at the start of a child’s life, by helping their mothers first, and then their fathers and supporting them to create a family, which they may have no idea of as they havent been modelled it. This costs under £5,000 per family.

It’s an old idea, and one which isn’t popular in parliament, but I can’t understand why. Post-natal depression affects mothers from all social backgrounds, so why should anyone discriminate as to who needs help in the babyhood years? Surely if everyone was supported it would only take a generation to help the percentage of children growing up with secure emotional attachment become the well adjusted adults of the future who help to build the loving communities and societies we need?

Serena Williams

 

It’s so hard when you feel completely out of your depth with a new baby. I made Babyhood because thats how i felt. And I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for anywhere. My mum had parented me in a completely different way and she couldn’t provide the answers. The books I looked around and found were full of strict schedules and making sure you let the baby know who was “boss”.

I heard babies crying in the street and felt compelled to answer their cries with agreement…”yes this world is not catering to the needs of babies!” We want to hush them down, placate them, silence their cries, but actually all they need is to be heard.

And Serena needs to be heard too, so desperate to be heard that she tweets her ten million followers and asks for help! The only problem is that each of the 10 million followers who want to offer advice have learned how to parent their small babies in a totally unique way, and no-one will be able to put Serena’s mind at rest.  Instead I want to help her realise that she has the answers deep inside, intuitively. Her baby has never known another mother, and how Serena is as a mother is perfect to her baby, just like her baby is perfect to Serena (even with all the crying). We learn to be mothers at the same time our babies learn to be mothered and it is a unique journey for each of us.

Babyhood looks at this world from the view of a baby and helps us to wake up to their needs, as well as rest into our own abilities to meet those needs. Let’s start to realise that babies aren’t foreign aliens who we never learn to understand but instead they are intelligent beings who communicate with us in a multitude of ways that we learn from them.

One thing we have been doing for a very long time is having babies so it is locked into our genome somewhere, and just needs to be heard…

I am very excited to be part of the Film Nights scheme that Connected Baby has started.

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, whom I interviewed in my film Babyhood, has set this up to bring groups together to watch films that “offer insights into the power of connection”, and then have a discussion around the subjects raised. Whenever I have shown my film, the discussions afterwards are the most interesting, and I am so pleased this will be happening in September throughout the UK!

Please contact Connected Baby if you want to host a night too!

She has written a great introduction to my film, which flatters me and i want to copy here!!

September’s film is the Award-winning film BABYHOOD, released in 2012.  Made by London-based independent filmmaker Kate Jangra, this documentary film explores the contemporary context in which our society is raising young children

Jangra asks: What might parenting look like in the absence of what she sees as today’s ‘parenting props’ – consumerism, the media, and parenting experts?   The project was born from Jangra’s experience of having her first child, which led her to question herself and everything she had thought of as ‘normal’ up to that point.

The film won the Culture Unplugged’s Award for Film-makers’ Choice – Conscious Art, in 2015.  It was chosen because represented, in the judges’ view, “the film that was most conscious in its selection of story, vision, and art of filmmaking in its ability to awaken global citizens and help them to usher life toward a new direction.”  Who wouldn’t want to see a film that achieves such accolades?!

The film has also received attention for its relevance to professional practice. For example, Canterbury College has licensed it to be shown to students enrolled in courses for working in preschool settings.

The film includes interviews with a range of fascinating commentators:

     Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood;

     Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters;

     John Carnochan, previous Co-Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit;

     Camilla Batmanghelidjh, Director of charity Kids Company;

     Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, founder of connected baby;

     Hollie McNish, award-winning rap poet.

Come and join us for an opportunity to think in depth about the context in which our babies are growing up.

film-nights-flyer

Babyhood has been licensed by Canterbury College. The early years teachers want to use it to show to their students planning to work in pre-school settings. I’m over the moon and hope it will prove a trusty companion to the other resource material. In fact I’m fascinated to know what is on the rest of the course!

DVD

I have just made a new batch of DVD’s that are now ready to buy for £9.99 plus P&P. Get them while you can!
email me: katejangra [at] gmail [dot] com

 

What’s the difference between these two brains? – Telegraph.

 

OK – this is scary, and very important. Whatever you might think about these 2 images, it is clear that there is something fundamental being scientifically proven and illustrated.

I want to try to explain it in the terms it was explained to me, that made such an impact on me and the film I ended up making.

When we are born our brains are not developed to the extent they need to be to function as a social being. This “growing” happens from the moment we are born, through the interaction we receive with our carers, specifically our primary care-giver. Our brains need the love and care of a maternal, or paternal carer to connect and grow. This needs to happen from the moment we are born, or some would say the moment we are conceived.

It’s that simple.

This is what makes us go on to live our lives and determines how we function. By the age of 18 months we have learned a HUGE amount about the world and our brains have formed accordingly. If we haven’t felt love our brain literally doesn’t grow, I imagine it is a little like a flower withering. This is tragic.

As Suzanne Zeedyk has said about the debate surrounding this article :

That debate shows us, once again, that it is one thing for us (as a society) to know this information.  It is another thing to think about what it feels like to know this information.  The debate in response to this article gives a very good sense of how unsettling the information can be.

It has made me want to try to define LOVE in those first few months and years. It has made me want to help people, especially mothers, who may not have felt love, to feel it and therefore start to give it to those around them. How does it feel to be neglected like that? It pains me to even begin to imagine how many people haven’t been shown love by each preceding generation. How do we break the cycle?

And most of all for all those babies out there being born every minute of every day, can we start to do our best to show them what Love is?

I just found this review of Babyhood on Sausage Mama.

How I wish I’d seen this documentary when I was first pregnant. How I wish I’d seen this when I was pregnant again, so I could be gently reminded what direction I wanted things to go in parenting wise with my toddler. How THANKFUL I am to see this now, when we seem to have gotten a little unbalanced with technology and ‘entertainment’ instead of ‘playing’ with my 4 year old and my almost 2 year old. As always, I’m reminded to simplify, simplify. Just as I’m getting ansy about not getting back into the workforce yet, because I would like some nice stuff for once, I’m thankful to be brought back down to Earth.

I am so pleased to find things like this out there! Thanks Sausage Mama!!

So it’s World Breastfeeding Week, and by chance I happened to take my LO’s to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum and we then popped over to the V&A to paddle in their lovely courtyard. On our way into the V&A there was this statue that seemed (there was one at the top and one at the bottom) to show us the way we could go using the ramps – we had buggies and slings on!  Nicely timed I thought. Its made by a french artist called Jules Dalou in around 1873…long time ago. I wish i could breastfeed this confidently in public!!

Anyway Babyhood is also showing as part of the Breastfeeding Festival on the 11th August. If you are in the area! Hope to write a bit more soon, but don’t seem to get more than a minute to myself these days!

I just watched Plan B’s TEDx talk. I am full of admiration for him and feel there are a few parallels in my film. Especially the stuff  he says about the riots. It is time we face up to this demonisation of young people and turn it around. It has been going on so long it is ingrained and no wonder so many people can’t see straight, and are so quick to judge. I have worked with and try to keep in touch with some of my local young people, and they don’t feel like “society” cares about them.

Camila Batmanghelidjh said to me during my interview with her:

i think the political world is missing a trick, because it’s continuously described these children and young people at street level in a derogatory way so its referred to them as feral, scroungers, benefit , lazy characters and so on and what that does is that it pushes the child more into a space of shame with this all-powerful all-encompassing leading figure represented by government and the narratives of the media , its seen as having all the power. after a while what will happen is a collective of the powerless will emerge , where they all get together and they all describe the abuse of the powerful, and what we could feel at street level, was actually that the tension was building up and the rage was building up and the kids were saying “the government hates us, they don’t care about us.” what they couldn’t hear from the government is anything about protecting them, had the government said in its narrative, “all children deserve protection and care, we find it unacceptable for children and young people to be in threatening gangs when they should be flourishing and having a sense of safety”, then those kids in gangs would be thinking they are talking about us they want to protect us, so they are on our side, and your chances of then that child pulling away from that gang and joining mainstream society is greater then is you just keep that child in the bad corner, and i think in that sense the government missed a trick.

I hope that Plan B’s work and iLL Manors do something towards changing public attitudes towards young people. And my film too! 😉

check this out too…