A child stands on a beach wearing a bucket hat and a red shirt

Through Our Eyes

Short documentaries reveal kids’ strength and perseverance as they experience parental incarceration, climate displacement, the wounds of war, homelessness, and more.

Real Families. Real Stories. Real People.

From the producers of Sesame Street, Through Our Eyes was designed as a co-viewing experience for adults and kids ages 8 and up. Each stand-alone 26 minute film is directed by an award winning filmmaker.

Watch On: Nationwide Public Television (Check local listings) |

Episode Guide

Through Our Eyes is an inspiring journey into the lives of American families, uplifting children’s perspectives as they face challenges, build cultural pride, and fight for what they believe in.

RECLAIM

Cultural Preservation

Hawaiian cultural practices are a source of pride and joy, but they have faced threats of extinction due to colonization and oppression. In Reclaim, Honor and his older brother Hanalei connect to their Hawaiian roots through language and the rigorous practice of hula, honoring their ancestors, preserving their heritage, and eventually rising to compete in the prestigious “Olympics of hula.”  

“We hope that as you explore this film with your keiki, it will inspire conversations around their connection to their own cultural heritage and identity. We hope that it sparks their curiosity to ask what sorts of cultural practices they come from, they can connect to, they can practice, uphold, and pass down.”

Directed by Geeta Gandbhir, Written & Produced by Justyn Ah Chong

Family Journal

As you watch “Reclaim” with your child, use this Family Journal to explore your ideas and questions, and enjoy sharing your own family stories and traditions. This can help connect all of us to our past, present, and future.


Reclaim Resources: 

LEADING

Youth Activism

Youth everywhere are following in their elders’ footsteps and taking action on issues they care about. “Leading” follows two budding activists: Kali who organizes a Black Lives Matter march, and Audre, who creates a school assembly about fighting Asian hate. On the way, both show great commitment and learn how to lead by example. 

“We hope that this film can inspire a conversation between you and your child about any injustices they may have experienced or noticed in society. Together you can think critically about how they can help folks who are affected by those inequalities.” 

Directed by Grace Lee

Family Journal

This Family Journal is designed to support you, your child, and the rest of your family as you watch “Leading.” Together, you can explore ideas about how we can all use our voices and actions to help make our world a fairer and more welcoming place for everyone.


Leading Resources:   

APART

Parental Incarceration

America has the world’s largest prison population, and 1 in 14 children in the country will experience the incarceration of a parent. Apart, follows Lyric, Eric, and Nnadji as they contend with the incarceration of parents with whom they maintain a deep connection despite physical distance.

“We hope that these stories can be a tool in helping your child learn about kids with challenging family circumstances… or even reach another child who is going through a similar situation.” 

Directed by: Geeta Gandbhir and Rudy Valdez

Family Journal

As you and your child watch “Apart” together, use this Family Journal to support you both and to investigate ideas and questions about how the structures of families may change from time to time and how you can remain resilient and stay connected.


Apart Resources:

The incarceration of a loved one can be overwhelming for children. Perceived stigma can lead to silence—but open and honest conversations can answer kids’ big questions, help them understand that they are not alone, and promote healing. These organizations can offer a place to start.

Reflection

1 in 14 American children will experience parental incarceration, and 2.7 million children have a parent in prison right now.

Source: Across Prison Walls, I Felt My Parents’ Love, Chesa Boudin
Source: American Psychological Association

SHELTER

Homelessness

The homelessness crisis can feel distant until seen through a child’s eyes. Shelter follows three unhoused children and their parents in L.A. as they seek steady shelter and try to keep their dreams alive. Skylar and Nicholas both live day to day, shuffling between temporary motel stays and living in cars; while Victoria’s family reclaims an abandoned house as their own.

“My hope is for this story to inspire you to talk about what home means to your family physically and emotionally.”

Directed by: Smriti Mundhra

Family Journal

This Family Journal is about one thing we all need, shelter. Watch “Shelter” together with your child and use this journal to explore your ideas and questions about how we can help make our world a kinder place for everyone.


Shelter Resources:

Losing one’s home brings enormous challenges, yet families can build a sense of hope and learn ways to cope. These organizations can offer a place to start.

Reflection

At least 1 in 6 homeless people in the US are children.

Sources: Children’s Defense Fund: The Affordable Housing Crisis Leaves Children Vulnerable and March 2021 United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Committee

Over 100,000 children in America don’t know where they’ll be sleeping tonight.

Sources: Children’s Defense Fund: The State of America’s Children 2020 and The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress.

HOMEFRONT

Military Caregiving

In the US, more than three million children live in homes with service members and veterans who rely on caregiver support. Gabby, Terry, and Luther all have parents who were injured while serving, and each family has found a way to heal the wounds of war.

“We made this film to bring attention to the experiences of the children of veterans. Through the voices of three remarkable kids, we witness the unique struggles that they and their parents go through, as they reconnect and rebuild their families.”

Directed by: Kristi Jacobson

Family Journal

This Family Journal is about how families work together to help each other every day. Watch “Homefront” together with your child and use this journal to explore your ideas, questions, and thoughts about how our families go through changes and challenges together.


Homefront Resources:

When a veteran requires caregiving at home, the whole family often takes on support roles—including children. Little is understood about the impact of caregiving within military families, but there is a growing understanding that better support systems are needed. These organizations can offer a place to start.

Reflection

In the US, there are 1.9 million service members and veterans relying on caregiver support. 3.4 million children live in the homes of these caregivers.

Source: “Military Caregivers: Who are they? And who is supporting them?” RAND Corporation. 2014.

UPROOTED

Climate Displacement

Since 2016, millions of people in the United States have been displaced by weather-related disasters that are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity due to climate change. In Uprooted, two families with young children grapple with climate-related crises.

“By showing the experiences of Emma, Leo, and Mariah, all of whom are facing the loss of their homes due to the effects of climate change, we hope that young people will more easily understand the issue and be inspired to do something about it.”

Directed by: Talleah Bridges McMahon

Family Journal

As you and your child watch “Uprooted,” use this Family Journal to explore your ideas and questions about how we can all become environmental stewards. Here, you will find an introduction to the children in the episode, useful information just for you, and printable pages for your child.


Uprooted Resources:

Climate change is often a tough topic to discuss with children in a way that is both honest and reassuring. For families experiencing displacement due to climate change, helping children navigate the issue and their own feelings can be especially challenging. These organizations can offer a place to start.

Reflection

A “climate displacement” occurs each time someone is forced from their home due to a climate-related disaster. Since 2016, there have been more than 6.5 million climate displacements in the United States.

Source: The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) data for the United States.

Hanalei Close up with Fern head dress
Featured News
Sesame Workshop Partners with Multitude Films’ Renowned Filmmakers for Award-Winning Docuseries Through Our Eyes