Yesterdays Children

Theatrical Release: October 15, 2000
Yesterdays Children


Jenny (Jane Seymour), a happily married American architect, suddenly begins to experience recurring dreams about a woman named Mary living in a small Irish town during the 1930s with her four children and abusive husband. Soon after the dreams begin, Jenny discovers that she is pregnant. As her pregnancy progresses, Jenny’s dreams turn into what seem to be personal recollections of the past. The visions intensify so much that they enable her to draw a detailed map of Mary’s hometown.

Convinced that she is recalling her past life as Mary, Jenny travels to Ireland in search of answers to her nagging dreams. While in Ireland she hopes to locate Mary’s now elderly children and make peace with the past. “Yesterday’s Children” premieres on CBS, Sunday, 10/15/00 (9:00-11:00, ET/PT).

Dove Review

Based on a true story of Jenny Cockell as told in her book of the same title, the film addresses the subject of reincarnation. The film takes on both sides of this controversial subject. While some believe they have lived past lives, a Catholic priest discusses another possibility for these dreams, one that seems to make sense to this reviewer.

The parish priest doesn’t believe a soul is born again, but he also doesn’t believe a soul dies. According to the Bible, that is true. His explanation for this phenomenon is that under extraordinary circumstances, perhaps one soul may be able to speak to another. The spirit of Mary could be speaking through Jenny seeking help in finding Mary’s children and reuniting them. (We discover that the children had been separated after Mary suddenly died, and haven’t seen each over in over fifty years). Although that may seem just as far-fetched as reincarnation, still, these were true events and Jenny was able to reunite the surviving members of Mary’s family. There must be some explanation. And as we all know, our God works in mysterious ways.

We approve of this film for 12+ due to its artistic qualities, it features a positive example of a bickering family pulling together after realizing the importance of what they have, and because we believe it will raise spiritual questions families can discuss. As for reincarnation: In Hebrews 9:27 the Bible states, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many.” Whenever I hear the discussion of reincarnation, I wonder, since the world’s population has multiplied over and over, where would all these reborn souls came from?

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Husband rapes his wife, this is seen in shadows.
Language: None
Violence: Mary’s abusive husband is depicted in dreams. The drunken lout is seen slapping his wife once and his son once. And although having more children may endanger Mary’s life, the husband forces himself on her. This is seen in shadows, but it is disturbing as their children are also seeing the shadows; a birth scene, the baby is stillborn.
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: The subject of reincarnation is addressed, with a book title, “Our Past Lives” in plain view during a couple of scenes.


Company: CBS
Director: Marcus Cole
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 120 min.
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright