Segments in this Video

Childhood (02:10)


Adults reflect on their lack of control and choices as children.

Chantal's World (04:39)

Chantal, age 10, discusses meeting her biological father; she often stays with her aunt and uncle. Chantal does not go to school; she prefers to play with a toy village or dress-up. Chantal's cousins discuss fairies.

A Magical Friendship (02:18)

Katie, age 12, and Molly, age 11, believe in fairies. They discuss their friendship, creating their own world, and writing books together.

Sakira's World (03:07)

Sakira, age 8, reveals her cultural background and her dolls. She discusses pretending she is a character in a book and what it would be like if she were a queen.

Dreams of the Future (02:51)

Daniel, age 12, and Andrew, age 10, live on a boat. They discuss things they like to do and what they want to be when they grow up. Daniel describes a future of destruction.

A Strong Outlook (03:16)

Robert, age 12, recalls arriving in America and his grandmother's life in a concentration camp during WWII. His hobbies and dreams reveal the effects his family history.

Searching for Someone to Listen (06:21)

Flora, age 10, discusses moving to England after her parents divorced. She often visits her grandfather who talks about the paintings on his wall. Flora discusses living in a heritage site, going to school, and imaginary friends.

Music is My Life (02:58)

Jin, age 10, discusses arriving in England, learning English, and playing a Chinese instrument. She sees pictures in her mind about the music she plays.

Mustafa's World (02:51)

Mustafa, age 11, believes music is bad. He shares his five religious beliefs and habits. Mustafa discusses marriage, his disinterest in his neighbors, and using his imagination.

A World in Motion (03:28)

Danielle, age 11, discusses being adopted, visiting Israel, and her love of dancing. She reflects on painting and color representation.

I Want to be an Artist (01:30)

Ashford, age 5, lives in a homeless shelter. His mother discusses Ashford's love of art and spending time together. Ashford shares some of his drawings

Land of Pepper Sweets (05:38)

Georgia, age 6, discusses her unborn sibling and living in her imaginary land with her imaginary family. Georgia divides her time between her mom and dad.

Our Future (04:25)

The children in this film reflect on what it would be like to be different, what their futures hold, and death.

Credits: Inside Out: Portraits of Children—A Film by Joanna Lipper (02:10)

Credits: Inside Out: Portraits of Children—A Film by Joanna Lipper

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Inside Out: Portraits of Children—A Film by Joanna Lipper

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In Joanna Lipper’s riveting, award-winning documentary about imagination and creativity in childhood, children between the ages of 5 and 12 tell their life stories with humor, sadness, and honesty. Factors including divorce, adoption, religion, immigration, cultural legacy, and death in the family are addressed as these children, who come from diverse backgrounds, internalize the world around them and then share that vision with vivid imagination and unnerving precocity. With the relationship between knowledge and loss of innocence as a central theme, this internationally-acclaimed documentary, which had its television premiere on the Sundance Channel, presents compelling portraits of young identities in the process of development. Lipper has elicited deeply honest, profound personal stories from each child and in Inside Out: Portraits of Children she invites us to listen and watch as these first-person narratives unfold. The filmmaker seeks to make us notice the extent to which children absorb, mimic, and internalize aspects of the adult world. She shows us the inspiration and many layers of motivations behind their games, their remarks, and their insights. “For the child, the first step toward independence involves being able to clearly hear his/her own authentic voice,” says the filmmaker. By taking an approach that interweaves facts and the fantasy worlds of the children, Lipper gives audiences the opportunity to peek into internal landscapes of these young psyches. With great sensitivity and precision, she takes the usually inaudible chant of the child’s unconscious mind and makes it audible. (48 minutes)

Length: 48 minutes

Item#: BVL55231

ISBN: 978-0-81608-715-0

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Winner, Best Original Documentary, Hollywood Discovery Award

Winner,Prix Jeune Public, Marseilles International Festival of Documentary Films

Certificate of Merit, San Francisco International Film Festival

Official Selection, MoMa New Documentary Series, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

“This compelling documentary takes family film-going to a new, participatory level as children and parents recognize and respond to these portraits of kids from around the world. For child audiences, the film offers a way of understanding and getting closer to other children who may have grown up in circumstances different than their own. For parents, the film sparks a better understanding of the issues children face while offering insight into the tremendous depth of what they feel and absorb.... An unforgettable testament to the transcendent power of imagination.” —Children Magazine, “Feature Focus”

“Joanna Lipper succeeds in capturing the imagination and dreams of her subjects. The enchanting sense of magical reality that she creates encourages us to join her on a journey into imagination and memory.” —The Jerusalem Newspaper

“After one of the young girls on the Children’s Jury of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival watched...Inside Out: Portraits of Children she gave it a perfect score. On her evaluation sheet she wrote, ‘I’ve always imagined there was a fairy tale village in my back yard. This movie made me feel not afraid to tell anyone.’ The Children’s Jury Director says....”This demonstrates the power of good film.’” —Chicago Tribune

Performance Rights

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Only available in USA and Canada.