Experiencing Interruptions?


Resilience chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

  • James Redford
    Producer, Director
  • Jen Bradwell
    Writer, Editor
  • Karen Pritzker
    Producer, Executive Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Peter Broderick
    Country: United States
Director Biography - James Redford

James Redford writes, directs and produces for film and television. “I come from a long line of storytellers who see stories as a way to make sense of things,” he says. “It’s essential to who I am and how I see the world.” His latest two documentaries: the award-winning Paper Tigers and Resilience:  The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope are stories about the hidden menace of adverse childhood experiences. Paper Tigers, currently on the festival and screening circuit, aired on PIVOT TV in September 2016.  Resilience is currently on the festival circuit and available for screenings at Tugg.com. James is currently in postproduction on HAPPENING., which he is directing, producing and starring in. In the last two decades, he’s written, directed or produced over a dozen films, including the award-winning HBO documentaries Toxic Hot Seat and Mann v. Ford, and The Redford Center’s award-winning feature WATERSHED.
James co-founded The Redford Center with his father in 2005 as a vehicle to make documentaries that inspire positive change. “Our role has always been to take complicated issues and render them coherent, digestible and inspiring so people can get engaged,” James says.
James holds a B.A. in creative writing and film from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.A. in literature from Northwestern University and plays guitar in his free time with Olive and the Dirty Martinis, a popular Bay Area cover band.

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Director Statement

When I started hearing about the emerging science of adversity and childhood stress, my mind was blown. High “doses” of stress during childhood get into our bodies, change our brains, and lead to lifelong health and social problems -- everything from domestic violence and substance abuse to heart disease and cancer. Who knew that if your parents got a divorce when you were growing up, you have a significantly higher risk of heart disease? Or that if your mother had a drinking problem, your own risk for depression in adulthood is much higher? The science of “toxic stress” and the major findings that came out of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study should be common knowledge public health information. But the movement is still in its infancy.

We started making Resilience to make this science digestible and relevant to everyone, and to showcase some of the brave and creative individuals who are putting that science into action. There is a growing group of pediatricians, educators and communities who are proving that cycles of disease and adversity can be broken.

In the United States, we spend trillions of dollars every year treating preventable diseases, rather than intervening before a patient is sick and suffering. We have a zero-tolerance, “suck it up” culture that judges and punishes bad behavior, rather than trying to understand and treat the root cause of that behavior. But now, with this new body of scientific knowledge available, we are learning there are better ways of dealing with these seemingly intractable problems.

Resilience has a companion film: Paper Tigers follows a year in the life of an alternative high school in Washington State who radically changed its approach to student discipline, with radically positive results. Our goal with these two projects is to make “toxic stress” and “ACEs” household terms, so that individuals and communities are empowered to improve the health and wellbeing of this and future generations.