1973. USA. Frederick Wiseman. 144 min.
Monday, February 1, 2010, 3:30 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
1973. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman. Compelled to enter a guilty plea for the armed holdup of a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a distraught seventeen-year-old boy cries out, “I feel I am innocent and have been trapped! Is there any justice for me?” At the Memphis Juvenile Court, adolescents and children face charges ranging from shoplifting, drug dealing, and prostitution to armed robbery and the abuse of a minor. As Wiseman poignantly illustrates, the complex cases that come before this court cannot be remedied simply by meting out punishment. Brought before a series of authority figures—parents and policemen, psychiatrists and case-workers, born-again ministers and judges—the juveniles rarely make eye contact; some express fear, sorrow, and anger in inchoate ways, others damn with articulate reasoning. 144 min.