6 July 2016

The Beginning of Life

The Beginning of Life documents the lives of young children and their families across the world to help shine a light on the significance of the early years, and how a child’s environment during this formative stage can shape their cognitive, emotional and social development. The film features interviews with early childhood development experts from around the world and families of highly diverse cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds.

We supported The Beginning of Life to spread an urgent message: giving all children a good start in life is crucial to building peaceful, prosperous and creative societies — and it is the people in a young child’s life who make all the difference”, adds Michael Feigelson, the Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Director Estela Renner explores how relationships in the early years of children’s lives are crucial to their development. “Emotional recollections for both good and evil have a much greater weight during this period, which is a time of formation, creation and structuring of individuals”, Estela says.

The official global launch took place on June 1st this year, where the film was made available via various global video-on-demand platforms including Netflix and iTunes and – for public exhibitions – on the VIDEOCAMP platform.  The Beginning of Life is dubbed in six languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese) and subtitled in another 21 languages. Short clips on specific themes (e.g. the effect of stress) will be made available soon.

Bernard van Leer believes this interesting documentary is relevant to parents, scientists, ECD specialists, health workers, grandparents and…. basically everyone else, so please enjoy this beautiful film with the family!

Watch the official trailer:



Michael Feigelson

Executive Director, Bernard van Leer Foundation