Watch Teenage

"The birth of youth culture"
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 6.5  (836)
  • 64

Teenage is a documentary drama film directed by Matt Wolf that explores the emergence of teenagers as a distinct social and cultural phenomenon. The film is based on the book Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, written by Jon Savage, which argues that the invention of the teenager in the early 20th century was a critical turning point in modern history, marking a new era of youth rebellion, experimentation, and self-expression.

The film features a diverse cast of teenage characters from different countries and cultural backgrounds, including Brenda Dean Paul, a black dancer from New York City who became a symbol of youthful energy and vitality in the 1920s; Tommie Scheel, a Hitler Youth member from Germany who struggled with his loyalty to the Nazi regime and his own sense of individuality and morality; Melita Maschmann, a former member of the BDM (the girls' division of the Hitler Youth) who later became a journalist and wrote candidly about her disillusionment with National Socialism; and Warren Wall, a British "teddy boy" who found solidarity and identity in the subculture of rockabilly music and fashion.

Through the use of archival footage, reenactments, and voice-over narration (voiced by actors Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, and Julia Hummer), the film offers a vivid and immersive portrayal of the teenage experience in different historical contexts. We see how teenagers have been variously celebrated and feared, misunderstood and oversimplified, throughout the 20th century, as they grappled with issues of identity, sexuality, authority, and social change.

The film begins with a brief survey of the pre-teenage era, when young people were largely considered as miniature adults and subject to the same expectations and constraints as their parents. The advent of industrialization and mass media in the late 19th century, however, created new opportunities and challenges for young people, as they were increasingly exposed to new forms of entertainment, information, and social interaction.

The film then traces the emergence of the "teenager" as a distinct demographic category in the early 20th century, with the rise of youth organizations, dance crazes, and popular culture icons like the flapper and the greaser. We see how young people embraced new forms of self-expression and experimentation, often in opposition to the norms and values of the adult world.

The film also explores the darker side of the teenage experience, particularly during times of political upheaval and social crisis. We see how young people were mobilized and exploited by totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, and how their rebellious energy was often met with violence and repression.

Overall, Teenage is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that offers a fresh and nuanced perspective on the cultural and social history of youth. It invites us to consider the complexity and diversity of the teenage experience, and to reflect on the ongoing cultural relevance of the teenage ideal in our contemporary world.

Teenage is a 2014 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 64.

Where to Watch Teenage
Teenage is available to watch free on Plex, Pluto TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Teenage for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (836)
  • Metascore