USA, 2011, 68'
Only the Young
Jason Tippet / Elizabeth Mims
Youth: Handle with Care
"He is so sensitive and dumb. They are all so dumb."
You may not know that the word derives from the Latin adolescere ('to grow up'), but you surely know – or hope – that it's just a stage: an important, identity-forming moment in one's transition from childhood into adulthood, which usually comes with a mix of moodiness and independent behaviour, a taste for both conformity and rebellion, and a strong desire to test own and others’ limits. It's the age of grand friendships, of first loves and first heartbreaks. It often triggers a struggle with a growing sense of identity and a heightened embarrassment with increasingly 'inadequate' parents.
Only the Young stands out as a remarkably intimate and affecting documentary. It is the directing debut of young film-makers Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims, whose age proximity to the age of their characters - teenagers Kevin, Garrison and Skye - is essential for the sense of enjoyment and the absence of camera consciousness acquired by the film. There is not much school in it, and parents are peripheral, which may also contribute to its irresistible charm. There's a lot of skating in it, but that doesn’t make it a skating documentary.
Beautifully shot and artistically adventurous, Only the Young goes way beyond our preconceived notions of what adolescents are and how they should behave. The characters may look at times like a bunch of careless, self-absorbed teenagers, but their moving coming-of-age process triggers some serious thinking about issues such as friendship, faith, first love, financial insecurity, fear of homelessness and the unknown.
13 March, 14:00, Cinema Elvire Popesco
14 March, 20:00, Cinema Union
16 March, 20:00, Cinema Corso
Silverdocs Sterling Award for Best US Feature, USA, 2012
Preview True/False Film Festival, Columbia, USA, 2012