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Kidz in da Hood is the gripping and warm story of Amina, who came to Sweden with her grandfather three years ago. Amina has not yet received her residency permit and when her grandfather dies everything seems to fall apart. She temporarily hides out with pierced and tattooed rocker Johan, who lives in a worn-down suburb. The wild girl Mirre lives on the same floor as Amina and together they begin fighting for Amina to stay in Sweden and live with Johan. Written by
Kidz in da Hood screened as part of MIFF's New Gen strand for children. MIFF notes recommended it for audiences aged 12+, though in the absence of much children's cinema, and with my 6 year old having had much access to adult world cinema, I had no hesitation in taking him. While the film has "mild sexual references and mild coarse language", it really shouldn't be an issue for anyone but the prudish.
The film depicts an orphaned nine year old refugee facing deportation from Sweden and how she finds shelter in a run-down public housing block, staying with a punk rocker. For me, a good children's film should cater for all ages, including adults, which means not underestimating the intelligence of children. Kidz in da Hood doesn't quite meet this criteria, yet my son enjoyed it immensely, as did the group of several children in front of us aged 8 - 12.
It tackles issues of ethnicity, acceptance, crime and humanitarianism in a manner that is digestible for children, so is worth seeing for that alone. My son gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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