Search - NOVA: Secret of the Wild Child on DVD

NOVA: Secret of the Wild Child
NOVA Secret of the Wild Child
Director: Walter Cronkite
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2007     0hr 56min

Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 01/09/2007 Run time: 60 minutes


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Movie Details

Director: Walter Cronkite
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Science & Technology
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/09/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 0hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A simply amazing story and one that tugs at the heart string
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 07/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In Los Angeles, California on November 4th, 1970, a young girl at 13 years old is rescued from her home by social workers. What they found was that she was isolated for a decade in a locked room and tied to a potty chair. She had virtually no human contact and no tactile interaction of any benefit and this helped to deprive her of any semblance of a normal life. In effect, she was underdeveloped, unable to communicate, she could barely walk and she exhibited many unusual behaviors. Due in part to a dysfunctional set of parents, it was difficult to get a proper history of all the horrible neglect that occurred here.

Eventually named `Genie' by the doctors and experts that worked with her at a children's hospital, so began a time of medical examination and analysis that lasted from about 1970 to 1975. During this time, Genie was, for lack of a better word, juggled between many people and environments in an effort to rehabilitate and heal her. At the end of this time period when these efforts were discontinued, Genie was shuffled between various foster homes which proved to be very detrimental in part because she was subjected to more abuse, punishment, and harassment in these different locations.

Because of additional difficulties caused by foster care, Genie was again returned to the children's hospital for further treatment. To compound an already fragile situation, Genie's mother filed a lawsuit against the many experts and the hospital that worked with her citing `excessive and outrageous testing'. This coming from an irresponsible and unconscionable parent that was, in part, responsible for this entire ordeal from the beginning. The suit was eventually settled out of court and Genie is currently a resident in a care home in California to this day.

`Secret of the Wild Child', although not very long, seems to do a credible job in detailing the known facts and events that played a significant impact in Genie's life after her rescue. There is a decent mix of interviews from various experts and a good portion of video footage showing Genie's therapy and rehabilitation and it makes for a worthwhile production in my opinion.
Good portrayal of a sensitve subject and fascinating one
J. Walker | So Cal. | 02/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first became aware of the "Genie" story because the home where she was kept was a few blocks away from me in Temple City, CA. Her story was front page news in 1970 as more and more details came out about how she had never left her bedroom for her entire life, and how dysfunctional the family was. The father committed suicide less than a week after the headlines for hit.

The PBS documentary on Genie is excellent and must see for all psychology students, brain researchers, and anyone interested in the whole concept of how a child develops in the "wild".
The fairest view of Genie yet
L. Hetrick | VT United States | 07/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've found this to be the most professional, fair-minded summary of Genie's story yet. The footage of Genie is fascinating, although I do wish there were more details about the results of the tests on her. I was disappointed to find that half the movie is about a different feral child named Viktor, but the parts that are about Genie are excellent."
Great Educational Video
Psychologist | Florida | 04/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Secret of the Wild Child tells the story of Genie, a 13 year old girl who was discovered by social workers. Genie had been raised in a small, featureless room since the age of 18 months--strapped into a potty chair by day and a crib by night, no one was allowed to talk with her, play with her, or give her the least sign of human affection and communication. This video shows the struggle of the psychologists and caretakers who tried to teach Genie the simple everyday things that we all take for granted--how to wear clothing, how to feed herself, and how to talk. Her struggle to learn language was a key issue for cognitive theorists who believed that there is a critical period for learning language, a period that Genie missed. Powerful and moving."