New documentary explores the biology of stress and the science of hope


This Wednesday and Thursday, documentary filmmaker James Redford, son of film star Robert Redford, will be in Minneapolis and Rochester to support his new movie about the chain of devastation caused by childhood stress, “Resilience.”

Presented by the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, Redford’s new work will screen at St. Anthony Main on Wednesday, April 20, at 7:15pm, and again at the Rochester Galaxy 14 Cinema on Thursday, April 21, at 7pm as part of the Rochester International Film Festival (RIFF).

In addition to the screenings, State Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, PhD, will moderate a discussion at the first screening, in Minneapolis; director James Redford will attend both screenings.

“Resilience” focuses on the journey of public health crusaders as they develop a new understanding of the problems behind obesity, mental illness, substance abuse, and cancer.

Their work begins with a joint study, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente, looking into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). Known as the ACE study, the research uncovers the ways exposure to stressors in childhood triggers hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children. Years later, when they reach adulthood, the effects of stress keep operating, creating greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death.

For many, the film will be their introduction to the concept of ACEs. But if the doctors and epidemiologists in “Resilience” are successful in their mission, we’ll all be hearing much more about it in the future.

For more on the MSPIFF, see: 

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