Earlier this year I interviewed director Nanette Burstein for Creative Screenwriting on the nature of documentary screenwriting--not necessarily a good idea to confuse reality with a written by credit, Burstein thought. I'm returning to her film mainly because I was very intrigued by the story of a five Indiana high school seniors' lives. I lived that year myself in 2007, not as a student, but as a parent of a senior. What struck me most about the film, was that it captured the amount pressure students feel (to succeed in college applications, decide their future, etc). As Burstein found, "The hardest part of high school is finding out who you are and trying to maneuver through all that." There's been some controversy around the film. Mark Olsen's story, in what's left of the LA Times, ably chronicles the drama and critical reaction surrounding the film. At the Sundance Film Festival screening Q&A I asked Burstein why there were no scenes of pot smoking, something as a parent of American teens, I would think would be rather rampant. Burstein agreed that there was, "definitely other stuff going on," but her concern was damaging her teen subjects' futures. You can find them on the movie's Facebook page and each kid, Hannah, Colin, Mitch, Jake and Megan, has one too...just like real American teens.
Taru-Sake from Kiku-Masamune
5 years ago