Resilience, a documentary that looks at the birth of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and how it spawned a movement across the world, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday. The first two screenings — both on Friday — were sold out.
Not bad for a film whose director, James Redford, wasn’t even planning on submitting it to the festival.
The buzz started before the festival even began. Wired.com listed Resilience as No. 2 in the 25 documentaries not to miss. WhatNotToDoc.com also singled it out. Nonfictionfilm.com did a story about the documentary.
Metamoral Films director Matt Duhamel scheduled a red-carpet interview with Redford. The night before the premiere, Indiewire published a story by Redford about “how we should measure ‘impact’ in documentaries”. And the Salt Lake Tribune featured the film in this article: Sundance documentaries tout empathy in education and child development.
There’s only one sour note so far: In his review in Variety, Ben Kenigsberg didn’t think the film was very compelling. “Those who already have a keen interest in the subject would be better off racing to the New England Journal of Medicine than to a theater,” he wrote.
I’ve seen it, and I didn’t get bored for a skinny minute. I actually think that people who have a keen interest in ACES will stay glued to their seats.
Resilience is produced by KPJR Productions. It features interviews with several leaders in the ACEs movement nationally and in communities, including Laura Lawrence and Laura Porter, and Drs. Robert Anda, Vincent Felitti, Nadine Burke Harris, Victor Carrion, Jack Shonkoff and David Johnson. The producers are Redford and Karen Pritzker. The executive producers are Pritzker and Regina K. Scully.
The documentary is the second by Redford that addresses ACEs. The first was Paper Tigers, which follows six students during a school year at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, the first trauma-informed high school in the U.S. Paper Tigers has been screening to sold-out audiences around the U.S. since it premiered at the Seattle Film Festival last year.
If you happen to be at Sundance this week, you still have a chance to see Resilience at two more screenings: one tomorrow night (Tuesday) and another on Saturday. Check out the Resilience web site to purchase tickets. And here’s the documentary’s Facebook page.