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Lila: Eight to Thirteen

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $325


Grade Level: Coll-Adult
Producer: Filmakers Library
Closed Captioned:
Running Time: 54 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2004
Available in French: No

Lila: Eight to Thirteen follows one strong, open, lively girl as she navigates the passage from preadolescence to adolescence. Preadolescense, the pivotal time when puberty begins, is a crucial period which has been often overlooked in coming-of-age films. This charming film celebrates Lila's resilience in the face of pressures from within herself and from the outside as she struggles to retain her identity. Filmed over a six-year period, Lila grew out of a unique relationship between filmmaker and subject. The style is intimate and personal, inviting us into Lila's inner world as she reveals thoughts she can't say even to her parents. The setting moves back and forth from the family's tiny apartment in New York City to a trailer in the bucolic, lovely Upper Delaware Valley. We follow Lila from a tree-climbing eight-year-old who likes to compete with boys, through the complexities of a changing body and a new set of "rules" for behavior. Milestone moments include a disastrous haircut and the first day of menstruation. Throughout, Lila's luminous persona permeates the film as she struggles with the loss of childhood and tries to redefine herself as a young adult.