Growing Up in a Day
About IDFA
Growing Up in a Day
IDFA 2002

Growing Up in a Day

Phie Ambo
28 min
Festival history
In 2001, Phie Ambo, together with Sami Saif, won the Joris Ivens Award for FAMILY. This year, she is back on the Joris Ivens jury and with the short film GROWING UP IN A DAY. At the beginning of the documentary, the sun rises over Lusaka. In the capital of Zambia one in three children lacks one parent. This also applies to John and Angelina, whose father has passed away. Around a campfire, they are told a parable about a boy who refused to listen to his parents and was consequently devoured by a crocodile. The message is clear: they must obey their uncle, who has taken them into his care, or they will come to a wretched end. It is impossible to say whether the taciturn kids are impressed by the story. Their quiet, large eyes look into the fire, their dark faces enveloped in white smoke. The events surrounding the children’s consignment to the uncle are depicted in simple, powerful images. For example, we see the village where men and women, sitting separately in circles, advise the legal guardian. Whether John is really an unruly boy, as is asserted, is hard to say, but at the end he obediently walks along with the uncle, his new father. Next, it is John who tells a story, about a boy made of clay, who runs away from his maker, although the rain will make him melt. Thus, stories provide the building blocks for John’s choices.
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    National Film School Denmark
    National Film School Denmark
Screening copy
    National Film School Denmark
    National Film School Denmark