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Seventeen (1983)

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Title: Seventeen (1983)

Seventeen (1983) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Incredible documentary
17 October 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I can't do much but repeat what the other two reviews have said. This is an amazing, thought-provoking piece of cinema verite. From the team who brought us the incredible "Demon Lover Diaries" comes this biting insight into the life of teens in middle America.

I first saw this my freshman year in college. I loved its naturalistic style, and it reminded me of my own growing up in Midwestern USA.

I saw it again in another class a couple of years later, and with a little bit of perspective, I enjoyed it even more for the filmmakers' incredible ability to capture their subjects without any influence or changing the subjects' actions.

As others have mentioned, it was commissioned by PBS as a part of a series on Muncie, Indiana, which had been named the "population center" of the United States at the time, and therefore truly "Middle America." Other documentary filmmakers made pieces for this series that were more conventional looks at the town and its history. One thing that I do think other reviewers have wrong is saying that PBS did not air this. At both screenings I attended, it was stated that it did air on PBS once, but was pulled from further re-broadcasts of the "Middle America"/"Muncie" series.

Any bootlegs you can find (and they are rare, even by bootleg standards) come from this initial PBS broadcast, more than likely. I consider myself extremely lucky to have seen this on the big screen (at USC) not once, but twice, and it has left an indelible mark on my memory. If you get ANY chance to see it, buy it, borrow it, etc., do not miss the opportunity.


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