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There Are No Children Here (1993)

From Publishers Weekly The devastating story of brothers Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers, children of the Chicago ghetto, is powerfully told here by Kotlowitz, a Wall Street Journal reporter ... See full summary »


Anita W. Addison


Alex Kotlowitz (book), Bobby Smith Jr. (teleplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oprah Winfrey ... LaJoe Rivers
Keith David ... John Paul Rivers
Mark Lane Mark Lane ... Lafayette Rivers
Norman D. Golden II ... Pharoah Rivers
Maya Angelou ... Lelia Mae
Vonte Sweet ... Craig
Crystal Laws Green Crystal Laws Green ... Rochelle
Ellis Peal Ellis Peal ... Elliot
Eric McNeal Eric McNeal ... Dogman
Ashley Magby Ashley Magby ... Vanessa
Tiffany Magby ... Vanita
Phillip Edward Van Lear ... Jay Stone
Earl Johnson Earl Johnson ... Mr. Parker
Cheryl Lynn Bruce ... Ms. Demfry
Nancy Sheeber Nancy Sheeber ... Ms. Smith


From Publishers Weekly The devastating story of brothers Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers, children of the Chicago ghetto, is powerfully told here by Kotlowitz, a Wall Street Journal reporter who first met the boys in 1985 when they were 10 and seven, respectively. Their family includes a mother, a frequently absent father, an older brother and younger triplets. We witness the horrors of growing up in an ill-maintained housing project tyrannized by drug gangs and where murders and shootings frequently occur.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

28 November 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nunca fueron niños See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

LOMO Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed in the summer of 1993. See more »

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User Reviews

A picture of hard life...
22 June 2005 | by CivicV8See all my reviews

With no help from a working father, a mother of five children is left alone to deal with the hardships and struggles of life in a bad neighborhood.

Oprah Winfrey, as LaJoe, struggles to find a new place and to better the living for her children. Soon she had gotten robbed by a fraud contractor, directing her to a new home address that don't exist. Meanwhile, Lafayette follows the bad road. He hangs out on the street and roles with his gang members. Pharoah, the youngest brother, puts effort to getting good grades and stays out of trouble. John Paul aka. J.P., father of the children, loses his job and requests permission to stay with the family for a few days and trouble arises.

I think the directors of this film had a great concept for this story. Interesting story that takes place in a bad neighborhood. I've watched it many times and I'll continue to watch it.


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