Friday, March 05, 2010
Planet Youth Film production "For Our Street Family" gains notice across North America
A film depicting the reality of life for some of Prince Rupert's youth has been marked for notice in a North American publication for school libraries.
In a review of the Planet Youth film, For our Street Family the documentary film has been called inspiring, highlighting the determination of the youth to beat a system which largely ignores their needs and forces them to build an extraordinary resolve
During it's 34 minutes of running time, it provides a view of life that many high school students would not be familiar with, as the young subjects depend on their peers to act as a surrogate family as they face the large number of challenges ahead of them.
The filming of the production was previewed on YouTube (see clip above), has been showcased at a number of film festivals both in Canada and in Europe and is now available for purchase through Documentary Educational Resources website.
The Review comes from the magazine and website for the School Library Journal which is described as the leading print magazine, and with its accompanying website serves librarians who work with young people in schools and public libraries. Designed to help integrate libraries into the school curriculum and provide items of note on technology, reading and literacy.
The review from the publications website is provided below.
For Our Street Family. DVD. 34 min.
Documentary Educational Resources.
2008, 2009 release.
Gr 9 Up—Filmed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, this documentary shows what life is like for First Nation (Native American) teens who frequent Planet Youth, a teen drop-in center. Peer support keeps these young people united as they weave together their surrogate family existence at the center. Difficult challenges face them, including racism, family neglect and abuse, foster care, and the need for acceptance.
Much of the cinematography appears to be student-created, adding to the program's creative tension and veracity. However, audio levels are inconsistent and occasionally difficult to hear. Not all participants at Planet Youth are First Nation, but the courageous and resilient ones who speak for the camera give a glimpse into the racial imbalances that Native youth endure across North America.
This cinéma-vérité film offers a sympathetic view of street existence, although the picture is not completely accurate. Slight mention of self-destructive activity, substance abuse, and criminal behavior merely hint at the lives of many of these teens. The females are best at verbally expressing their desire for a fulfilling future, while an intolerant adult world seems determined to make success a most difficult transition.
These youth express their determination to beat a system which largely ignores their needs and forces them to build an extraordinary resolve. Most high school viewers will be unfamiliar with the street life presented here, but the young people who live there are inspiring.—Robin Levin, Fort Washakie School/Community Library, WY