Award-winning filmmaker Eddie Martin (Have You Seen the Listers?, MIFF 2018) revisits the cultural landscape of Larry Clark’s iconic 90s film Kids, which paved a bumpy path for its young stars’ future success.
In 1995, the coming-of-age drama Kids propelled the American independent film scene in a daring new direction. Finding inspiration from New York City’s skateboarding scene, it shocked audiences and critics alike with its depictions of teenage drug use and unsafe sex. Kids memorably launched the acting careers of then-unknowns Chloë Sevigny, Rosario Dawson and Leo Fitzpatrick, but it also featured a number of kids for whom fame proved to be more burden than blessing.
In his fifth documentary feature, Martin – whose film Fire Front also screens at MIFF 70 – draws together archival footage and interviews to reveal just what happened to those other ‘kids’ from Clark’s film, including Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter, who died young and in tragic circumstances. Probing the fine line between celebration and exploitation, publicity and pressure, We Were Once Kids examines a vanished cultural moment and the cost of being thrust into the spotlight with no safety net.
This film may change the way you look at Kids, but its greater purpose is to change the way you think of its lost boys … Fascinating and daring, befitting the legacy of its departed stars.
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