Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

A Lion in the House 2006

Directed by Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert

Five real life dramas from the pediatric oncology centre at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital testify to the resources of science, moral imagination and compassion dedicated to the care of children with cancer.

USA In English
225 minutes DigiBeta

Directors, Photography


Steven Bognar
Kevin Jones
James Klein
Mary Lampson
Jaime Meyers


David Ackles
Thea Lux
Michael King
Seth Mulliken
Alvoro Leite
Barbara Wolf
John Mays


Charles Engstrom


Tim Woods
Alex Lougheed
Justin Ashcraft
Al Fields
Jen Moone


Sundance 2006


In a year of documentaries about the destructive power of Western civilisation there is immense consolation to be found in these five real-life dramas from the pediatric oncology centre at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital. The result of six years’ work by filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert – themselves the parents of a teenage cancer survivor – Lion testifies to the resources of science, technology, moral imagination and professional compassion dedicated to the care of children with cancer and their families. The kids and whanau we meet are a disparate bunch, each incorporating blow after blow into their own complex family dynamics. Their additional courage and generosity in allowing us into the heart of their crises is somehow deeply reassuring. How powerfully they remind us that when it comes to facing the things that truly matter, then maybe, after all, we are all in this together. — BG

“The old adage that no great movie is too long applies in spades... the picture’s cumulative effect is nothing short of humbling, cathartic and even euphoric.” — Scott Foundas, Variety