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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Insightful docu traces historical evolution of adolescence.

Movie NR 2014 78 minutes
Teenage Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

More nudity than indicated here

The nudity mentioned also includes full frontal female nudity, showing breasts and pubic hair on a few women. It is non-sexual, and lasts for about 5 seconds.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

For documentary lovers who appreciate a straightforward approach to historical material, Teenage might be a bit too artsy with its dramatizations and lack of expert commentary. It certainly won't feel like a film that you'd see at a modern art museum. but rather on PBS or HBO. But there's something appealing about the way the focus jumps in time and place, highlighting how youth culture affected or scandalized or changed the dominant society, whether it was the bohemian Bright Young People in 1920s England or the subversive Swing Kids in Nazi Germany who dared to eschew Hitler Youth in favor of attending underground dance and music clubs.

America, which is basically responsible for the rise of teen culture, is featured as well, conflated with racial segregation, discrimination, and the Harlem Renaissance. There's a lot of material to cover, and it might be confusing to teens who are unfamiliar with the subject matter or who can't distinguish the archival footage from the recreated dramatizations. But Teenage should spark fascinating conversations and an interest in history, as well as give current teens the valid (if oversimplified) impression that young people have always raged against their elders, pursed their own pleasures, and felt alienated. Watch it and then encourage deeper research into the parts of the documentary that speak loudest to your own teens.

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