Middle School Confessions

HBO, 2002



From deep inside the lives of young adolescents as they transition into their teen years, this 75- minute film features young people from a wide range of ethnic and economic backgrounds in one-on-one and small-group conversations and in their school, home, and social lives. Much of the film unfolds in verite scenes among friends and in tense encounters in which adults and their children struggle to establish lines of communication. The issues that concern parents most—drugs, alcohol, violence, depression, sexual activity and sexual identity—are explored with eye-opening, non-gratuitous frankness.







“...even the most vigilant parents may be stunned by director Ellen Goosenberg Kent’s straightforward, eye-opening documentary about the habits of middle-school kids. By letting 11- to 14-year-olds express themselves, supposedly uncensored and uninhibited, on topics such as sex, depression and alcohol, Goosenberg Kent presents a fly-on-the-wall look at what many young teens are up to behind their parents’ backs.”

LA Times

A disquieting yet ultimately hopeful look at previously adult issues that now are confronting an ever-younger group of America's children . The program is divided into topics such as sex, alcohol, depression and school absenteeism ... but the common denominator for driving students into premature experimentation is peer pressure combined with lack of communication with parents. Host Samuel L. Jackson makes brief appearances at the beginning and end of the HBO original documentary, but the real stars are the kids and their shell-shocked parents. "I want to have a happy, well-adjusted child," one father says, "and it's just not working out that way."




14th Annual GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary - nominee