I’m completely fascinated with this film. Teenage is a documentary about the emergence of the concept of being a teenager in the first half of the 20th century. The film tells the stories of four teenagers – from a German girl in the Hitler Youth to an African-American Boy Scout – through archival materials and diary entries. As of March 16th it should be in select theaters.
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Teenagers didn’t always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape. Whether in America, England, or Germany, whether party-crazed Flappers or hip Swing Kids, zealous Nazi Youth or frenzied Sub-Debs, it didn’t matter – this was a new idea of how people come of age. They were all “Teenagers.”