Director: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
Writers: Gen Urobuchi, Sadayuki Murai, Yusuke Kozaki
Staring: Mamoru Miyano, Takahiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa
Streaming: Apple TV+
Release Date: August 14, 2020

How the fuck wasn’t this movie nominated for an Oscar? That is my first question.

Boys State is a horror movie, only it is real life. This documentary follows a large group of 17 year old young men taking part in a political camp with the task of building a representative government from the ground up. The young men have a week to pull such a task off, and we as the audience have an even longer time to sit with what this movie shows.

Boys State has four main focal characters, all of whom approach the political atmosphere of this Boys State camp differently. You have two rah-rah type of personas in Ben Feinstein and Rene Otero; these young men rally the bases of the respective political parties they were put in. Robert MacDougall is a driven individual but puts the seatbelt on his own rocket pack.

Then there is Steven Garza. This young man is amazing. Regardless of the political beliefs you have, one has to respect the approach Garza has to politics. He has earnestness. He has strength. He has an understanding of the atmosphere around him. Garza ran the campaign like an angelic movie character would…only that he is real.

The scary part of Boys State is the all-too-real magnification as to how these kids are viewing politics. Sure, they are 17 years old, I completely understand that, but still. The political climate of brashness and over-the-top gestures to appease the masses is in the minds of the young politicians that took part in this camp. It starts early and festers. It is a popularity process.

Boys State is the best documentary I have seen in a couple years and it FOR SURE should have been nominated this past year. From anything I have seen, this would have won in a landslide.

STANKO RATING: A (4.5/5 Stars)


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