I’ve tried pretty hard to select all the films that focus on teenage life and I’ve seen 2 great ones. I just left the theatre after watching Benavides Born, a story about a south Texas, Mexican-American teenager who sees powerlifting as here one shot out of Benavides, TX. This gritty film covered themes of immigration, drug use, war and ultimately the pressure that sports and being a senior in High School can create.
Hopefully this film we be purchased and released so I can use it as a dialogue starter within our youth ministry. One of my main take home messages was the pressure that many low income youth face to succeed in a sport, which is their only shot for a scholarship or college.

Does your church add to the pressure during the senior year for students?

Homework is probably the biggest adolescent movie at Sundance and it will make it to the cinemas. Without spoiling too much, this Juno-esque film addresses a few issues that are trending conversations of the past few years. Through conversations with a theologian/film critic, I realized that this film spoke to what Chap Clark calls systemic abandonment.  These two quirky characters (George and Sally) begin to show the dysfunction of there own families and yet there appears to be little need of adults in their lives. If you have a chance to see this when it comes out, those of you in smaller, less urban towns will shout “that isn’t how teenagers act!!” while those who work in urban contexts will think this film is spot on.