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Boys State. 2020. USA. Directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine. 109 min.
The sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is a wildly entertaining, continually revealing immersion into a weeklong annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. 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 amid the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, and a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope. Courtesy of Apple
Virtual Cinema is not available to Annual Pass members. With the exception of Modern Mondays programs, Virtual Cinema screenings are not available outside the US.