Archives for category: 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?


There is a Screening being organised for Freedom to Learn next week in Bristol. I am hoping that lots of people come and we have an interesting chat after. It’s always my favourite part of a screening. Usually I am sitting and squirming during the film, but love people’s reactions after!!

Come down if you are in Bristol or Bath.

We have invited the More than a Score and Let Kids be Kids local groups, who I hope are coming, which is great news, as I would love the film to help get behind their campaigns…

This film is so inspiring and yet at the same time depressingly mind-blowing. It’s time we wake up…

Source: Trailer


I have finally begun the finishing processes on my latest film – Freedom to Learn. It is another subject close to my heart, this time looking at education and how a childhood is being taken away from our children increasingly, in this fast paced competitive world.

As a home educator myself, I wanted to try to make a film that gave a more nuanced view of what home education was and why people might choose to take their child’s education into their own hands.

It follows on nicely from Babyhood, as again it is trying to help us to look at the child’s perspective, rather than loosing ourselves in our adult minds and logic.

Here is a link to the trailer, and I will be updating here as to the release dates and where you will be able to see it. I am imagining that community screenings will be the first way to see it, so please get in touch if you would like to host one!

Freedom to Learn from kate jangra on Vimeo.

Yes please – I want more films like this.

I want to make films like this!!

To be taken on a journey through someone’s life from the age of 5 until 17 in one film was the most inspiring thing I have seen in AGES or even EVER!

I hadn’t realised how shallow and one dimensional so many films are as they don’t or can’t (boring budget restrictions) take the time and space for an idea to become profound. 

Richard Linklater has achieved this profundity and i love it – thank you!

I was really pleased to see the Mum (Patricia Arquette) character studying and then teaching Attachment Theory and Bowlby – great touch Richard!!

I saw this and was totally inspired. I wish we could be braver about the way we allow our children to play.

I just watched this – Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery and am so pleased that someone else is looking at societies ills with a view to repairing them with love and compassion.

As an ex-addict Russell Brand speaks very convincingly of the need for there to be an abstinence based recovery for addicts, and for us to view addiction as a public health problem rather than a criminal offense.

One of the groups he talks to, say that we need to welcome people back into the community, as this is where they came from before they became addicts. I wholeheartedly agree and am so pleased to see another Chief Superintendent talking so candidly about helping these people.

Just like Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan when he talks in Babyhood about addressing these issues at the start of life. If only these 2 men’s attitudes were more prevalent in senior positions, and in parliament. Unfortunately our politicians seem to lack any real integrity or insight into life for anyone else.

Thanks Russell. And for more even impressive speaking at the Parliamentary Select Committee…check this out

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…

I can’t help but be fascinated in why the latest BBC film The riots in their own words was pulled last minute from it’s scheduled broadcast last night. It seems a court order is to blame and we know not who from…

So I wanted to have a look at the evidence that LSE and the Guardian compiled from an amazing team of researchers, and came across these films that I have posted here. My favourite is at this link:

Reading the Riots: ‘It was a war, and we had the police scared’

What is coming through, and something that I observed when I worked with a number of local young people, is that there is widespread fear and dislike of the police. Many are quoted as saying “it was revenge against the police”. Is this why the programme was not aired? Would it incite people? Surely by withholding it there will be a huge amount more people wanting to see it?


I have just watched a programme on BBC2 called Babies in the Office. It is about a company in the UK called Addison Lee allowing their staff to bring their babies to work in order to save money on the ridiculous expense of childcare, and to integrate work and home life more efficiently.

It was fascinating viewing and a lot of the issues raised are dealt with in my film Babyhood. In fact, I took my baby to work with me while I filmed the interviews with the contributors for Babyhood, and mostly I managed to time it that my son had a nap, but if that didn’t work you can hear him in the background! It really made me adjust my behaviour accordingly. I slowed my approach down, made decisions about what was important and what really didn’t matter, and generally lived balancing them both – my desire to create a film and his needs as an 17month old baby…It was hard, but no harder than finding ways to occupy a baby anyway, ask any stay-at-home mum…

What i think it highlighted was the need for community to come together to help families look after their babies. Sarah Hrdy who wrote a book called Mothers and Others argues about the importance of co-operative childcare in our evolution (the biological term being “alloparental care” – childcare beyond mother and father). Just watching the office scene’s there is already an amazing amount of support for the mothers and children from their colleagues. We need to live in a society that embraces all aspects of life, not compartmentalizing each element. No wonder first time mothers feel so isolated.

The programme also told us that this is something that is already being done in the US, and is a growing trend. It seems as if there is a zeitgeist building, and gathering momentum which gives me a great deal of faith in human spirit.

Well done addison lee! It makes me like you more as a company! I will definitely use you in the future now! Well done for piloting it and i hope a few more UK companies will adopt it’s policies.

Here is an article from the BBC about eight other solutions to our childcare issues – have a read…

BBC News – Eight radical solutions to the childcare issue.