The other night we went to see a documentary called I Am Eleven. As the name suggests it is about a group of kids who are 11 years old and the reason I went was to take my son to see it because he is also that age.
It’s an Australian film made by Genevieve Bailey because she remembers how she felt when she was 11 and remembers it very fondly.
She travelled all over the world to make the film over a number of years, and some of the kids she interviewed are from Australia, India, Indonesia, Bulgaria, England, USA, and France. So there were lots of subtitles. JJ got most of them but still had questions for me throughout the film of bits and pieces he didn’t quite get. Hopefully we kept it quiet enough not to piss people off around us.
I wish I could have made one of the Q&A sessions that Genevieve does with some of the screenings. But we couldn’t make that session so we just saw the film.
Even though the movie was about 11 year olds, I loved the movie too, and so did a girlfriend who came with us.
Eleven is a gorgeous age. I don’t remember my 11 much at all, but I’m seeing it again through JJ who is 11. It’s that inbetween age from childhood to teenagehood when they still don’t mind being seen with their mum. They don’t mind a cuddle on your lap even though they’re nearly as big as you are. You can have some great conversations with them about all sorts of stuff. That stuff can range from them telling you they know what a boner is now, or that they’ve realised that sexual intercourse is the same thing as sex. That they’d thought sex was just kissing and cuddling but ooooh, now they really know what it is. He gets this information about boys from school who have older brothers. I’m glad he wants to talk to me about it and if anyone’s wondering when its age appropriate to talk to your child about sex and so on, your child will probably bring it up anyway.
Then they’re talking about the latest game they really like playing on the computer and want a friend to come around so they can play that game with them or have a sword fight with a rolled up newspaper.
I know I’m going to miss this age when he’s older.
The other great thing about the film was seeing how different kids live. My friend asked JJ if the film made him want to travel, and he said yes.