Four teenage girls, Lisa, De'Yona, Anna and Raelene, all living in Philadelphias working class neighbourhoods, are followed around by a cam-corder for four years. They don't know each other from before. How do their lives change? What is life like for Anna, growing up under such strict conditions that she is called a hore for just meeting a boy? And what happens to a girl like Lisa, who attends a strict Catholic school? De'Yona goes to a ''Fame'' type school. She doesn't spend too much time thinking about the opposite sex, she is more eager to sing. Realene, on the other hand, entered the dating game already as a twelve year old. She is now fourteen and pregnant. It is a film that brings back memories of what it was like to be a teenage girl. Thinking you own the entire world and that boys were the most exciting thing to talk about with your best friend. It is hard not to be affected by the Wagner-DiFeliciantonio documentary. One laughs, turns one's head in shame, and sits in awe, but most of all one gets very upset. It is like watching a Ricki Lake show without the loud and annoying audience and an interrogative talkshow host. Yet in both places one encounters a part of society and a way of thinking that seems hard to coprehend and understand. Wagner and DiFeliciantonio have been able to make a film without being judgemental. The final result, rather, shows how society creates their own victims and people to protect. On the other hand, it seems impossible to remain objective when one participates in the daily lifes of these girls and even finds oneself passing judgement on them. Maybe it has to do with the cameras ability to be at the center of attention on the one hand, and becoming a silent observer, on the other. The girls openheartedly share their secrets. When Realene shows the result of her pregnancy test to the camera, she does it as if the camera were a friend, an equal. To create better effects, the film makers have sometimes chosen to film in slow-motion with a voice-over, a collage of rough pictures meant to give extra depth to the story. That isn't really necessary; the girls have such a strong presence that their fates leave a strong feeling in the gut. What is missing, however, is another hour in the daily lives of Lisa, Anna, De'Yona and Realenes.Linda Hedihn

Title
GIRLS LIKE US
Director
Jane C. Wagner & Tina DiFeliciantonio
Country
USA
Length
57 min
Festival
1997
Section
Collage
Language
English
Production year
1997
Cast
Raelene Cox, D
eíYona Moore, Lisa Bronca, Anna Chou
Producer
Jane C. Wagner &
Tina DiFeliciantonio
Music
Tricky, Brian Eno, Modulor, Nightmares On Wax, Bahia Black,
LA Funk Mob, Swell Maps, RPM

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