Boy State Sequel Explores the Limits of Girl Power

Boy State Sequel Explores the Limits of Girl Power

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2020, Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’ “Boys State” embodied the best and worst of the eponymous tradition that it captured on camera: An annual leadership program, funded by the American Legion and held in almost all 50 states since the 1930s, in which 1,000 or so hyper-ambitious teenage boys from all walks of life are given a week to form and elect a mock government. 

On the one hand, their film offered a semi-realistic microcosm of the American system at work, and an optimistic preview of what Gen Z — at least its most politically engaged young men — might bring to the table as they become old enough to and run for office. On the other hand, the otherwise inclusive “Boys State” reinforced the American Legion’s history of preserving the status quo through a “separate but not so equal” approach that makes it obvious who’s really expected to inherit the power in this country. For all of its focus on the changing face of American democracy, McBaine and Moss’ film barely acknowledged Boys State’s underfunded sister program, in which teen girls vie for the kinds of offices that few — if any — women have ever held in the real world. 

In that light, McBaine and Moss’ “Girls State” might smack of inevitability — a gender-swapped mea culpa of a sequel only made so that Apple could turn one of its more notable documentaries into a non-fiction franchise….

Read full article: Boy State Sequel Explores the Limits of Girl Power – IndieWire

The post “Boy State Sequel Explores the Limits of Girl Power – IndieWire” by David Ehrlich was published on 01/19/2024 by