Documentary Films About Teenagers

Teenagers Face Daunting Hardships

As if raging hormones weren't enough! These documentaries give us access to the world of today's youth worldwide, to teenagers and tweens facing daunting pressures and hardships, and others who're finding solutions to their problems. Kids are our hope for the future, but what hopes do they have? Collectively, these documentaries present a very interesting, compelling picture of teens growing up in today's world.

A Walk To Beautiful - 2008

In Mary Olive Smith’s moving documentary, A Walk to Beautiful, five young Ethiopian women face social ostracism and physical misery because they suffer from obstetric fistula, a medical condition that often occurs in women whose bodies are too small and underdeveloped — due to their young age or malnutrition — for them to be able to successfully deliver a healthy child.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster - 2008

In his highly personal documentary, director Chris Bell takes us down the path he's followed since childhood as he has struggled to find his place in his family and to define his personal goals with regards to athleticism and the use of steroids.

Billy The Kid - 2008

In Billy the Kid, filmmaker Jennifer Venditti follows 15-year old Billy Price around his home town of Lisbon Falls, Maine. The film, shot in eight days during the summer and winter of 2005, is pure cinema verite-style, delivered without voice over narration or expert witnesses to tell you what’s going on. You see raw-looking footage shot with a hand held camera of Billy, his class mates, his mother and Heather Pelletier, his first girlfriend.

Bowling For Columbine - 2002

Spurred on by the 1999 tragic teenage killings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, Michael Moore investigates what's behind America's gun culture. He discovers there's no simple explanation for Columbine incident, nor for the extraordinarily high incidence of violence in the U.S., but he does uncover many shocking symptoms that deserve examination and the search for their cures.

Deliver Us From Evil - 2006

Amy Berg's Academy Award-nominated documentary is a compelling exposé about the ongoing pedophilia of Father Oliver O'Grady and extensive child abuse by the Catholic clergy.

Full Battle Rattle - 2008

U.S. soldiers, mostly guys in their teens, are sent to train for the Iraq War in simulated typical Iraqi towns that have been constructed in California's Mohave Desert. It's a taste of what they'll get when they're shipped overseas.

Girls Rock! - 2007

Girls Rock! is an exuberant documentary that follows four eight- to 18-year-old girls through their lively, inspiring experiences at the Portland, Oregon-based Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, where they're taught both music and self-esteem.

Gunnin' For That #1 Spot - 2008

On September 1, 2006, the nation's top high school basketball players gathered at Harlem's Rucker Park basketball court to compete in the first-ever Boost Mobiel Elite 24 Hoops Classic. The extraordinary athleticism and skills of these teenagers — all prime prospects for eventual NBA stardom — makes this a game you really want to see.

Jesus Camp - 2006

Academy Award-nominated Jesus Camp is an extraordinary exposé about the well-organized Evangelical indoctrination of children — teens and younger — in heartland America to become soldiers for Christ. It serves as a cautionary tale about fundamentalist Christian recruitment and conditioning of preteens to prepare them to battle al-Qaeda, whose kids fast, bare arms and sacrifice themselves for Islam.

Planet B-Boy - 2007

Planet B-Boy presents the best of breakdancing, an amazingly athletic dance form that originated New York and has swept the globe as a mostly teenage underground culture, a way of life, a means of self-expression that centers around perfecting personal dance style and moves, and in-synch team choreography. Director Benson Lee captures the soul of B-Boying as he follows top-ranked crews from Las Vegas, Osaka, Seoul and rural France to the high-voltage "Battle of The Year" in Braunschweig, Germany.

Quantum Hoops - 2007

High achieving teens who've won a coveted place at California Institute of Technology, ranked among the world's five top academic institutions, choose to compete at basketball on a team that has consistently ranked lowest in its league — but the determined players continue to push their game, just as hard as they push their top-notch academics.

Very Young Girls - 2008

Very Young Girls, directed by David Schisgall, Nina Alvarez and Priya Swaminathan, brings the story of child prostitution home. The film follows several New York City tween and teenage girls who’ve become prostitutes, and who are trying to cope with the consequences and redirect their lives.