Ahhh, childhood. What memories — skipping stones, climbing trees, swimming in your friend's pool. Unfortunately, not every child is living this positive life. The result might be more devastating that you think.
James Redford, acclaimed documentary filmmaker and son of renowned actor Robert Redford, will present his newest film, "Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope," as a part of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle Showcase of Films. The screening and following panelist discussion will start at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
"Resilience" addresses the topic of childhood toxic stress and its correlation to adult medical and behavioral issues. Redford will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions as a part of a panel discussion following the film.
"Resilience" premiered as a part of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, which Redford joked was not as easy to get into as you would think. All joking aside, "Resilience" helps us understand the harmful effects of stress experienced as a child. "Resilience" takes us on a journey from discovery of Adverse Childhood Effects, or ACEs, to intervention at all different levels and with all types of professionals.
Redford uses first-hand accounts and interviews with leading medical professionals to discuss the issue — including Robert Anda, senior researcher in Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, a pioneer in treating stress in children. Her 2014 TED Talk, "How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime," garnered more than 2 million hits.
Use of graphic art to accompany these engaging interviews completes the historical account. Identifying a problem is the easier part of the equation. What about the solution?
Redford brings us to preschools implementing programs such as "Miss Kendra's List," which educates schools about childhood trauma and abuse.
The audience will hear from community outreach programs coordinating information and intervention with police officers, while seeing the obvious changes in children affected.
But what are the long-term effects of ACEs? "Resilience" shows us how several states implementing these programs have seen a decrease in criminal activity, school behavioral issues and medical costs.
This is a film event not to be missed. And our very own Circuit Court Judge Clark Erickson will participate in the panel following the screening. He will be in good company with Redford; Dr. Emma Adam, Northwestern University professor of Human Development and Social Policy; and Audrey Soglin, executive director of the Illinois Education Association.