95 minutes, U.S.A., 2008, Colour, 35mm

Like a real-life Breakfast Club, Nanette Burstein’s documentary follows five very different Indiana high school students across the course of a year: Colin, the jock; Hannah, the artistic rebel; Jake, the geek; Megan, the queen bee mean girl; and Mitch, the heartthrob. Each has their own troubles both inside and outside of the school environment: Colin must win a college basketball scholarship or enlist;

Jake is ignored by practically everyone; and Megan is still coming to terms with a recent tragedy. Hannah suffers a debilitating breakup before embarking on a tentative relationship with Mitch, both enduring the Pretty In Pink-style disapproval of their peers. 

Burstein does an admirable job in creating a narrative of the group’s experiences, showing above all the intense pressure placed on them to meet social expectations.

Screening as part of Teenage Kicks: American Teens on Film (August 4th – 28th). 

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