Boys State, the new documentary from directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss (The Overnighters), was one of the most talked-about films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary filmmaking, and ended up being acquired by A24 and AppleTV+ for $12 million – the biggest acquisition for any documentary in the festival’s entire history.
Now the first trailer has arrived, and you can see what all the hype is about.
Boys State Trailer
Our 10/10 review from Sundance called Boys State “one of the most powerful articulations of the American political process ever set to film,” and praised it as “smart, entertaining, darkly comic and profoundly unsettling…simply brilliant, the best film of Sundance, and already in contention to be one of the best films of the year.”
That’s extremely high praise, but it’s not just us who fell hard for this film: it’s currently sitting at a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes (and don’t forget about that Grand Jury Prize!). And while the idea of watching something overtly political may be the last thing on many peoples’ minds after the events of the past few years, it seems as if this movie is more interested in the machinations and processes themselves than it is with furthering any particular set of viewpoints.
This well-edited trailer has me very excited to see what McBaine and Moss have up their sleeves. It’s probably going to be the thing that actually gets me to fire up AppleTV+ for the first time since getting a free year-long subscription with the purchase of a phone earlier this year.
Here’s the official synopsis:
The sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Boys State is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope.
Boys State will debut in select theaters on July 31 and will be available to stream on AppleTV+ starting August 14, 2020.
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