Nine teenagers act out their secret dreams and, between times, talk about their world as they see it, raising all the preoccupations of youth: authority, drugs, social conflict, and sex.
Wow! is legendary director Claude Jutra’s under-recognized epic of teenage angst and revolt, made two years before Mon Oncle Antoine. Jutra selected a group of teenagers as his documentary subjects, three girls and six boys, drawing out their opinions and attitudes about sex, politics, drugs, friends, parents, and the future. In true mentor/confessor fashion, he also drew out their intimate desires and fantasies, then dramatized them with his typically lavish NFB budget and the characters’ intense performances to make a docudrama episode film that is truly unique in the catalogue, if not world film history. Within our two national cinemas in which youth films have long been a privileged genre, Wow! takes the cake, resilient in its solidarity and tenderness (not to mention voyeurism), aching in its eve-of-Stonewall ambiguity. Added bonus: Wow! is the only NFB film ever to display nude trampoline choreography by the future producer and French studio head Monique Simard (and former elected deputy of the Parti Quebecois). – Thomas Waugh, Hot Docs Film Festival Continue reading