Teenage, A Documentary About the Emergence of the Teenager in the Early 20th Century

Teenage is a fascinating documentary about the emergence, in the first half of the 20th century, of the concept of a “teenager.” The film tells the stories of four teenagers, from a German girl in the Hitler Youth to an African-American Boy Scout, through archival materials and diary entries. Teenage was directed by Matt Wolf and written by Jon Savage, author of Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture 1875-1945. The film will be in U.S. theaters this spring.

Before the ‘Teenager’ was invented, there was no second stage of life. You were either a child or you went to work as an adult. At the turn of the century, child labor was ending, ‘adolescence’ was emerging, and a struggle erupted between adults and youth. Would the young be controlled and regimented, or could they be free?

Teenage Documentary

poster via Oscilloscope Laboratories