Unfortunately, it’s a film I’ve never seen, so I can’t offer any useful commentary here; and thus this announcement of its home video release is good news, as I’ll be able to finally check it out.
The details follow…
Icarus Films is proud to announce the release of SEVENTEEN on home video on August 18, 2015!
Before HOOP DREAMS, there was SEVENTEEN. Too controversial for PBS, which refused to broadcast it, this final film in the famous MIDDLETOWN series went on to win the first Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival.
Directed by Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines and produced by Academy Award winner Peter Davis (HEARTS & MINDS), SEVENTEEN is the unvarnished story of a group of seniors in their ultimate year at Muncie’s Southside High School, hurtling toward maturity with a combination of joy, despair, and an aggravated sense of urgency. They also learn a great deal about life, both in and out of school, and not what school officials think they are teaching, along the way.
Originally slated to air on PBS, SEVENTEEN was pulled because of concerns by some over the film’s content, which includes interracial romance and vulgar language.
By the way, “Middletown” was a 6-part early 1980s documentary series on the city of Muncie, Indiana – nicknamed “Middletown” after a study in the 1920s deemed it representative of middle America. The series revealed that, despite the great cultural and technological changes that had happened in the USA over the previous 50 years, social and moral values and ideals in Muncie had remained virtually unchanged. Episodes of the series examined: a mayoral campaign; a prominent high school basketball rivalry; local religious activities; the struggles of a large family in operating the local pizza parlor; remarriage between divorcees; and the everyday lives of high school students.
Watch a clip from “Seventeen” below.