Young people tend to be one of the more stereotyped groups in fiction films, so I try to be attentive to documentaries about them. Last year I singled out Beginning With the End, a documentary about students enrolled in a class to prepare them for volunteer hospice care, as a great example of a film that challenged our stereotypes of young people. Next month, a pair of films will give us two very different portraits of youth experiences.
PBS will be airing Libera in America on February 28, and the boys’ choir will release a CD and DVD on March 3 and 10 respectively. As you can see from the sneak preview, the boys (ranging from age seven to sixteen) are normal kids who make unusual sounds. The PBS special draws from their concert in Washington, D.C. and features a mix of traditional church music (“Ode to Joy”) and secular songs (“Wonderful World”) delivered in distinctive choral style. Check out the preview below and be sure to tune in to PBS this weekend:
The kids in Bite Size also want to sing…and dance, and play sports. In other words they want to live normal lives. But with childhood obesity on the rise, they are also learning that they are making decisions that will cast a long shadow over the rest of their lives. The film follows four kids as they take on the daunting challenge of reshaping their bodies and, indeed, their lives. As you can see from the preview, some of the challenges are emotional as well as physical. Bite Size is set to release March 10 and has already earned the Dove Foundation Family Seal of Approval.