Inner Child: Jonah Hill

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Reminiscing about childhood triggers fond memories, centered around our joys and innocence; however, we often overlook the inevitable growing pains experienced along with youth. Reflecting on our inner child, we are brought to our once naive selves, compelled by our passions without true regard for reality. The embodiment of our inner child gives rise to our fearless aspirations, paradoxically coupled with our crippling fear of judgement from the world. Childhood, although fleeting, does in fact serve as the foundation of one’s life. The circumstances within this period may be external; however, the internal growth during this period serves as the framework for the years to follow. Jonah Hill considers the inner child in his directorial debut in Mid90s. Mid90s primarily serves as a nostalgic piece, crediting the skater scene that permeated through the 1990s. The film, however, is also highly personal to Hill as he honors the skater community for granting him a family beyond his own that accepted him when he himself could not bare to do. Hill, thus, made it his mission to depict this culture within the film from a place of respect and authentic understanding, rather than a position of authority.

The conception of the inner child is then furthered with a magazine he created to coincide with the film. Within the magazine, Hill indicates that everyone maintains a snapshot of themselves from their youth that they wish to shelter from the world. Independent of external circumstances, successes, and etc. this snapshot acts as a burden, fearing that others will consider us as once this person we cannot accept. Within the magazine, Hill interviews various individuals he admires and centers the conversation around the question, “what is that snapshot for you”. The conversation then extends to how they have learned to love themselves and become the individuals they are today. It is thus evident through the film and conversations that self love and growth commences at the moment we embrace all who we are, accepting this burdening snapshot and our inner child.

For me, it’s that 14-year-old overweight and unattractive kid who felt ugly to the world, who listened to hip hop and wanted so badly to be accepted by this community of skaters.
— Jonah Hill

Claudia Morgan