Teenage is a documentary that explicitly lays out the formation of the teenager in society, and explains how the ‘teenager’ came to be. Before the word ‘teenager’, in society’s eyes you were either a child or an adult. The film is told through archival footage, and voiceover work by actors and when spliced with old and new footage, captures the essence and feel of a news reel. It spans the early 20th century and ends around the 70’s punk rock era.
The film opens your eyes to unheard viewpoints in history, and you’re given the opportunity to listen to kids who were influenced heavily by Hitler during WWII, journals from an African American kid during 1950’s segregation, and the voice of youth from Bright Young days in England. Director Matt Wolf, paints the canvas in such a way that you feel as if you’re getting an intimate chance to interview them. The documentary is eye-opening, and the time that it took for society to accept this phase of life is reflected. Just watching this film made me realize that I had never given this period of life much thought, other than being glad that I was no longer a teenager. The film and music which was brilliantly done by Bradford Cox is an achievement of the highest standards.
The doc is a loose adaptation of Jon Savage’s non-fiction epic Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, and my only criticism is the archives felt a little rushed and I was left hungry wanting more material. Matt Wolf has shaped an rebelling doc that will shift a generation, Check out teaser trailer is below.