BOYS STATE (2020)
Bring together a thousand teenage boys from Texas for an intensive experiment in democracy and you have Boys State, a fascinating exploration of politics that is as unsettling as it is mesmerizing.
At a time where the political climate in the United States resembles a dumpster fire (at best), this documentary embeds viewers in the fray of young men building a two-party government from the ground up. The conversations are eye-opening, as are the varied intentions of those seeking elected office within the program. Should they simply conform their views to the electorate in order to achieve power, or will sticking to true beliefs carry them through? Play it clean or play it dirty? This is a challenging watch depending on your political affiliation, but the ultimate payoff is satisfying regardless of your beliefs.
The filmmakers perfectly encapsulate the current state of politics today, revealing the ugly side of it all while highlighting truly remarkable young men. At times the entire charade comes across a little cult-like, but there is value for all of the participants through the firsthand experience of bridging gaps, coming to consensus, and simply surviving the pressures of the masses. Check it out on Apple TV+ today.
Photo from IndieWire