i got to attend a screening of the documentary film, american teen, up in hollywood recently, and i was absolutely blown away. this film won the documentary category at sundance, and is scheduled for theatrical release in late july, spreading to 1200 screens in august.
american teen documents the real-life stories of 5 high school seniors in warsaw, indiana. the school queen bee, the top jock, the dreamboat guy, a unnoticed geek, and an artsy girl who doesn’t fit in. if they weren’t real kids, it would be easier to dismiss as classic stereotypes, especially since they kind of fit in an up-to-date breakfast club portayal. each kid reveals their inner struggles and hurts, and i found myself crying in the screening more than once (which was a bit awkward, since it was a small screening, with about 30 people, in an invitation-only screening room on a studio lot, full of pretension and posturing).
i’m trying to think about what ys could or should do with this movie, because i really feel like every single youth worker in america must see this thing. i would love to have teams of volunteers see it together, then talk about it.
it’s real life stuff, not a christian film; so it’s full of real life teen stuff (including language).
here’s a good summary review of the film from its screening at sundance.
here’s a youtube interview with the creator, nanette burstein.
and here’s a facebook page for the movie, with video clips of the characters, and lots of other good stuff.