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PACEs Connection Resource Center

PACEs Science: Documentaries and Videos

Documentaries and Videos


Full-Length Documentaries
For a current list of recommended documentaries and how to access them, click HERE.

  • Addiction, Trauma, & Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): The Neuroscience behind Developmental/Attachment Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences, 2018
    In this video, you will learn key insights regarding the neuroscience of addiction from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect, and the impact on later-life health and well-being. You will understand the important assessment and treatment implications from neuroscience that show us addiction is experience dependent, not substance dependent. You will also learn treatment recommendations from the leading experts in trauma and addictions treatment.
     
  • Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir, 2021
    In 1989, Amy Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, was published to great commercial and critical success. With the blockbuster film adaption that followed as well as additional best-selling novels, libretto, short stories and memoirs, Ms. Tan has firmly established herself as one of the most prominent and respected American literary voices working today. Born to Chinese immigrant parents into 1950’s America, it would be decades before Ms. Tan would come to fully understand how her mother’s self-destructive tendencies were rooted in watching her own mother kill herself after being forced into the former marital system of concubinage. This painful family inspired her stories of women without the power to choose their lives. An interweaving of archival imagery, artful animation and live performance from Ms. Tan form the basis for this documentary that allows the audience to journey through Ms. Tan’s life and career in vivid, living colors.
     
  • Broken Places, 2019
    The film poses the complex question of why some children are permanently damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive. To help answer this question, we dug into 40 years of our film archives to update a few of the stories of children growing up in difficult circumstances that we filmed decades ago.
     
  • CAREgivers (Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain.), 2015
    The film depicts the emotional costs experienced by professional providers such as nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists, doctors, firefighters, first responders who rescue, assist, and when possible heal the injured and traumatized. Through dramatic stories, CAREgivers probes the emotionally risky aspects of professional caregiving and public service.
     
  • Cracked Up, 2019
    In this film, we witness the effects adverse childhood experiences can have across a lifetime through the incredible story of actor, comedian, master impressionist and Saturday Night Live veteran, Darrell Hammond. Behind the scenes, Darrell suffered from debilitating flashbacks, self-injury, addiction, and misdiagnosis, until the right doctor isolated the key to unlocking the memories his brain kept locked away for over 50 years.
     
  • IN UTERO, 2015
    Most scientific research into adverse experiences begin with life after birth and end with individual health outcomes. IN UTERO looks deeper into life in the womb and its lasting impact on human development, human behavior, and the state of the world. Watch the trailer HERE.
     
  • Paper Tigers, 2015
    This documentary produced by KPJR Films is set within and around the campus of Lincoln Alternative High School in the rural community of Walla Walla, Washington. Paper Tigers asks the following questions: What does it mean to be a trauma-informed school? And how do you educate teens whose childhood experiences have left them with a brain and body ill-suited to learn?
     
  • The Raising of America, 2017
    This five-part documentary series and companion tools illustrate how a strong start for all our kids can lead to better individual outcomes and a healthier, safer, more prosperous and equitable America.
     
  • Resilience, 2016
    Resilience is the latest KPJR documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. A discussion guide to accompany screenings of the film can be accessed HERE.
     
  • SAM NOW, 2023

    Instead of playing video games or hanging out at the mall, the Harkness brothers spend their time making their own playful movies in Seattle. Their films are full of costumed heroes, smashed props and in-camera special effects, and they all star Sam Harkness. One day they spontaneously decide to make a film about something real in their family: the mysterious disappearance of Sam’s mom three years prior. Picking up their cameras and tracking cryptic clues of her whereabouts, Sam and his older half brother Reed head out on a West Coast road trip to try and find her. But solving the mystery of her departure is only the beginning of their story. The documentary uses a hybrid narrative approach, drawing from a vast archive of fictional films, home videos, intimate family interviews and veìrité scenes from over the decades. Sam's wetsuit and mask wearing alter ego, The Blue Panther, springs into action to help crack the case. The brothers take a 2,000-mile road trip in search of answers. We learn of Sam's mother’s complicated adoption history from Japan. And we experience Sam growing up over 25 years, from age 11 to 36, balancing revelations of personal growth while trying to break the cycle of generational trauma.
     

  • Whole People, 2019
    This five-part series spotlights the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through personal and community stories. It explores the long-term costs to personal well-being and our society. While much work needs to be done, there are many innovative developments to prevent and treat ACES. We all play a role in becoming a whole people.
     
  • The Wisdom of Trauma, 2021
    Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. It is the root of our deepest wounds. Dr. Gabor Maté gives us a new vision: a trauma-informed society in which parents, teachers, physicians, policy-makers and legal personnel are not concerned with fixing behaviors, making diagnoses, suppressing symptoms and judging, but seek instead to understand the sources from which troubling behaviors and diseases spring in the wounded human soul. With this film, we hope to touch many people, begin a conversation, and develop a common understanding about how trauma impacts our individual lives, communities and society as a whole.
     
  • Wrestling Ghosts, 2018
    This film follows the epic journey of Kim, a young mother who, with the help of her partner Matt and the support of therapists, works to confront her traumatic childhood to build a stronger bond with her sons. While it centers around ACEs science, featuring the work of Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How We Heal, it does so without jargon and is unflinching at depicting the challenges and needs of those parenting with ACEs while introducing viewers to a wide range of approaches to healing and recovery.

PACEs Science 101 Videos

  • ACEs Primer, 2016
    KPJR Films, which came out with Paper Tigers in 2015 and Resilience in 2016, put together an overview of the ACE Study. (5 minutes)
     
  • ACE Study DVD Preview, 2016
    This preview introduces a video produced by The Academy on Violence & Abuse, which features presentations by and interviews with ACE Study co-founders Dr. Vincent Felitti and Dr. Robert Anda, as well as Dr. David Williams, the CDC researcher who introduced them and participated in the study. Dr. Frank Putnam, professor of psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, provides perspective on the impact of the study. (3 minutes)
     
  • Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University Resource Library, Ongoing
    A collection of trauma-related resources, searchable by media type and topic. Topics include brain architecture, lifelong health, mental health, neglect, resilience, and toxic stress. Sign up for their mailing service to be notified of newly released resources.
     
  • How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime, 2015
    Dr. Nadine Burke Harris does a TED Talk on how she learned about the ACE Study, and how it changed her pediatric practice and her life. (16 minutes)
     
  • How Do We Stop Childhood Adversity from Becoming a Life Sentence, 2015
    Benjamin Perks, the UNICEF Representative to Montenegro and United Nations Resident Coordinator, reviews the findings of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study. He further describes ways to prevent and respond to childhood adversity and support victims, including integrated child protection systems and better equipped education systems. (16 minutes)
     
  • How Early Childhood Experiences Affect Lifelong Health and Learning, 2021
    In this animated video, narrated by Center on the Developing Child Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., learn what the latest science tells us about how early experiences affect not only early learning and school readiness, but also lifelong health. Understand the effects of adversities such as poverty, discrimination, systemic racism, exposure to violence, and child maltreatment, abuse, and neglect on the developing brain and many other systems in the body. Challenge yourself to think about how we can use policies and resources to address the sources of these problems. (5 minutes)
     
  • The Power of Positive Experiences, 2021
    This video from https://numberstory.org/ describes the power of positive experiences to heal and change the course of a child’s life. (2 minutes)
     
  • Prevent ACEs Now, 2020
    This video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains early childhood adversity and gives simple actions to support families and help make a better future for all children possible in their community. (3 minutes)
     
  • Toxic Stress and the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, 2015
    Dr. Sara Langworthy produced a short YouTube video about early childhood and stress. Additional videos about stress and resilience can be found on her YouTube channel. (5 minutes)
     
  • We Can Prevent ACEs, 2018
    Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are an important public health issue. Learn how everyone can help prevent ACEs by using strategies to create safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. This video is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (5 minutes)
     
  • What Is A Number Story?, 2021
    This video briefly describes ACEs and encourages viewers to learn more about ACEs through exploring all of the information and resources on https://numberstory.org/. (2 minutes)
     
  • Why Do Some Children Respond to an Intervention and Others Don’t?, 2014
    Nathan A. Fox of the University of Maryland describes the limitations of traditional early childhood intervention studies, which examine the effects of programs on large groups of children with the hope that one size fits all, and suggests that new interventions must take into account the individual differences in the ways children and adults react and self-regulate. (28 minutes)