Think back to your childhood. Memories of ice cream cones, skipping rope, making mud pies and climbing trees come flooding back. But not all children have such wonderful experiences and memories. Many are subjected to repeated and never-ending stress. This “toxic stress” as documentary filmmaker James Redford has found, effects these children’s biology leading to adult disorders such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity and potentially decreasing life expectancy by as much as 20 years. His new film, “Resilience,” educates and enlightens the viewer not only to the well-documented science behind the problem, but also to the easy solutions that have been proven to work.
“Resilience” is the result of Karen Pritzker’s discovery of statistics correlating high ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores to increased medical problems in adulthood. Redford explored the findings and those responsible for developing ACE’s to give us all further knowledge and insight into a $3 Trillion issue effecting the U.S. healthcare system. With in-depth interviews with the originating doctors to pediatricians like Dr. Nadine Harris from San Francisco who is implementing her knowledge to make a difference, Redford succinctly brings us not only the facts and figures about ACE’s, but also the solution to help children and prevent serious medical consequences later in life.
The information could have been truly overwhelming in “Resilience,” but with graphic art conveying the science and math that supports the concepts and well-balanced interviews, the film is entertaining too. We hear what medical professionals across the country are discovering in succinct and direct interviews. We visit and learn what home health workers are seeing. We discover programs such as Miss Kendra’s List that are being implemented in school systems. Programs like this give children who are experiencing “toxic stress” the necessary information, strength, and coping mechanisms with which they can strive toward a healthier future.
The solution seems mind-bogglingly simple. Community outreach and school programs giving these at-risk children a consistent and caring adult can make all the difference in the world. The film shows us the tools with which to work, potentially decreasing healthcare costs and creating a happier and healthier environment for children and adults.
“Resilience” is a fascinating documentary that eloquently explains the healthcare issues that confront us directly and indirectly on a daily basis. But more than that, “Resilience” gives us the solution to this problem. It is empowering as it educates and enlightens you to the issue of childhood toxic stress and how to overcome it. Rarely do you find a documentary that highlights a problem and gives a solution. It’s a film every educator, healthcare provider, and lawmaker should see.
For more information about the film “Resilience, go to their website HERE
For links to resources about ACE’s, check out the resources link