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Boys State

First slide

Lively documentary follows four Texas teens as they participate in the annual weeklong gathering of the title, sponsored by the American Legion, during which they have the chance to immerse themselves in realistic political rituals and form a mock state government. Amid the campaigning for office and platform writing, idealists and sharp operators emerge, and hardball maneuvering transpires, accurately reflecting the tensions that underlie the system of government about which the lads are learning. Co-directors and spouses Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine's study of this temporary subculture is rich in interesting characters and valuable insights, so that at least some parents may consider their film acceptable for older adolescents.

Watch out for: Mature themes, including legal abortion, a couple of rough terms, a single crude expression, a few mild oaths.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020