Boys State

Boys State

Boys State

Sundance-winning documentary following an annual US experiment—a week-long programme where a thousand 17-year-old boys from Texas join together to build a representative government from the ground up.

Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving, arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks; and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manage to plant seeds of hope.

Grand Jury Prize winner (Documentary) at Sundance Film Festival 2020, and winner of the Louis Black/Lone Star Award at SXSW Festival 2020.
2020Rating: M109 minsUSA
Documentary

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Boys State / Reviews

Stuff

Stuff

Equally importantly, Boys State also provides gripping drama (especially as election day looms), a surprisingly poignant and emotional finale and inspired lunacy.

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BirthMoviesDeath

BirthMoviesDeath

Boys State offers the full package. You will laugh a lot, but you will also get caught up emotionally and shed some tears.

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RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

Boys State constantly and vividly shows the blurred lines of decorum that come with age and power, and that's certainly the case when masculinity takes the forefront.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

Some of these boys are already as hard-faced and cynical as velociraptors. Some are gentle and sweet natured. Some are even shown changing their minds. It's an amazing spectacle.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Boys State inevitably feels more and more like reality TV programming, which is both appropriate for our times and depressing.

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Variety

Variety

Ultimately, Boys State works because the “characters” are so compelling.

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IndieWire

IndieWire

The filmmakers illustrate that governmental power is a fickle thing, prone to exploitation and good will alike, depending on who decides to pursue its offices.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

A compelling political campaign chronicle and an incisive allegory of American democracy, Boys State is also much more fun that you’d expect.

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