Jesse Moss Amanda Macbaine Tony Gerber Texas state Missouri film audience information wellness Provident Enterprise Jesse Moss Amanda Macbaine Tony Gerber Texas state Missouri

The Kids Are Alright: Emmy Contender “Girls State” Shows (Functioning) Democracy In Action

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As America grapples with the latest in a way-too-long series of Most Important Presidential Election Years in Our Lifetime, democracy and its fundamental building blocks – governance, consensus, civil discourse, the rule of law, the balance of power – face an equally foreboding precarity.

Boomers and Gen-Xers ask themselves, How did we get here?, and turn to Millennials and Gen-Zers for hope. The Girls and Boys State programs have, for nearly 90 years and in all 50 states, been in the business of cultivating and nurturing the next generation of leaders through intensive, week-long immersion programs in government and politics.

Directors/producers/life partners Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine were drawn to this idea of twin crucibles – the program itself and adolescence – to explore their confluences of ideological inquiry amid a politically tumultuous time and the coming-of-age dynamic between private values and public personae.

The Emmy-winning Boys State, released in 2020 through Apple TV+, gave viewers a glimpse into what democracy looks like through teenage eyes.

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