American Teen intimately follows the lives of four teenagers in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. Using cinema vérité footage, interviews, and animation, it presents a candid portrait of being 17 and all that goes with it. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, the experimentation with sex and alcohol, the parental pressures, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future.
Nanette Burstein filmed daily for 10 months, developing a remarkably close rapport with these students and their families. The kids open up in her presence and lay bare their lives. The end result is a film that goes beyond the stereotypes of high school – the nerd and the jock, the homecoming queen and the arty misfit – to capture the complexity of young people trying to make their way into adulthood.
Sundance Film Festival Programme
This film is part of the Real to Reel documentary season. You can see this and the 17 other films in the season for just €100. Go to the booking page for details of the other films or to purchase this season package.
This film is no longer available but will be screening at the IFI shortly. Click here for more details www.irishfilm.ie/jdiff