Originally made to support the DVD release of The Kartemquin Films Collection: The Early Years - Volume 1, 1967-1968.
THUMBS DOWN (1968) 102 minutes
In this cinema-verite documentary, a teenage youth group called Thumbs Down, decides "to bring Christ to their neighborhood" by holding an anti-war Mass at their conservative Chicago parish. Neither militants nor hippies, they simply believe that Christianity means social action and concern with issues. They present this belief to the community and the confrontation reveals the deepening crisis of communication between the young Christians and their parents, priest, and neighbors.
PARENTS (1968) 22 minutes
A parish youth group in a lower middle-class, Chicago neighborhood discusses parental authority, what growing up means, and the difficulties of communicating with their parents. This cinema-verite documentary of an actual meeting allows the young people to speak for themselves, giving us a viewpoint different from that of their more prosperous or more radical counterparts.
Beautiful meditations on youth and what that truly means... may very well be two of the most important documentaries for the younger generations to re-visit, or be introduced to for the first time. Absolutely universal, these films haven’t lost a step aesthetically or intellectually." - Joshua Brunsting, CriterionCast.