Alex is a freelance writer, retail worker, short film maker, an avid lover of The Arts and always willing to explore.
Published September 19th 2012
"I was going through a difficult time, being in a serious car accident and my body was not feeling very happy, and my dad passed away. I wanted to make something quite simply that would make me happy and make audiences happy…I thought back to my favourite age in life and that was when I was eleven and I thought I wondered what would it be like to be eleven today." Genevieve Bailey, Australian Documentary Film Maker. Cinema Paradiso screening, Western Australia, Perth.
Armed with a cider in one hand and a box of popcorn in the other, whilst being wedged into the Ben-Hur of ticket lines, I was more than prepared for a terrible cinema experience. But in the back of my mind I somehow knew this was going to be something special. I did knock off my cider in the first fifteen minutes, but that's beside the point.
The exceedingly well-made documentary I Am Eleven focuses on a diverse array of eleven-year-olds throughout different parts of the world. The series of interviews cover the kid's diverse opinions from worldwide affairs to their own personal issues.
Some of what the kids say can be immensely thought provoking and at other times downright hilarious, however I Am Eleven thoroughly manages to keep you entertained either way. This film achieves what it sets out to do and more. Not only do we follow what these kids do in their day to day lives, but we are thrown into such detail that we ourselves aren't just watching their story on screen anymore; we have almost become them, in the ultimate form of nostalgia.
I Am Eleven is a fantastic achievement in film making, especially for an independently financed work of a first time director. I've heard many people say, out of all ages, why choose eleven? In my opinion the director has intelligently chosen one of the most interesting ages to ever document on screen, with a spectacular contrast smack bang in the middle of pre-teen innocence and being thrown into the giant fish bowl known as high school. Eleven is an age in which kids are noticing many things around them, but don't quite get it all yet, an age of beautiful naivety and half questioning curiosity, an age in which Genevieve Bailey has almost captured perfectly into one of the best documentaries I've seen since Supersize Me.