Aging OutClosed Captioning
Roger Weisberg & Vanessa Roth
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Artfully directed by award-winning filmmakers Roger Weisberg and Vanessa Roth, "Aging Out" chronicles the daunting obstacles that three young people in foster care encounter as they "age out" of the system and are suddenly on their own for the first time. Navigating the transition from adolescence to adulthood is challenging for even the most mature and privileged youth. For three teens in urban New York and Los Angeles, however, making the transition to independent living is considerably more difficult. Lacking family support, they are suddenly forced to fend for themselves with no job skills, meager financial resources, and little preparation to survive on their own. Following them as they become parents, battle drug addiction, cope with homelessness, and even end up in jail, Weisberg and Roth show how three teenagers use the resiliency they developed "in the system" to retake control of their lives. "Aging Out" is more than a dark chronicle of young people who move from foster care into the welfare, mental health, and criminal justice systems. This emotionally complex film is also a portrait of young adults struggling to overcome the scars of their troubled childhood in order to realize their dreams of independence and fulfillment.
Overall a standard documentary about children coming out of the social services system in the US. I was fascinated to see hints of the bond formed between foster parents and their children. I think an examination of this bond and the subsequent joys and heartbreaks that this entails would be more interesting to watch. The director faithfully followed all the stories to a kind of completion when they could have examined the love that emerges between foster children and their foster parents. Reality television in style of Intervention for example could cover stories such as these more thoroughly. I think documentaries that utilize storytelling techniques more effectively like focusing on theme over bare fact come out much more compelling than this one did.