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The Invention of the Adolescent

Directed by Patricia Watson
Canada, 1967 (documentary, 28 minutes, black and white, English)
Also known as "L'adolescence, une invention récente"
The Invention of the Adolescent
Photo © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"From the past, when distinctions between childhood and adulthood were not as finely drawn as they are today, this film traces the development of the adolescent and shows some of the real problems of this age. It notes that it was the defense of the young, the protection afforded by reformers and educators, that created the generation gap so evident today in Western society. What adolescents gained and lost from changing attitudes towards them is clearly illustrated in the film."
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Patricia Watson
Produced by: Guy Glover, Cecily Burwash
Narrator: Sidney Lamb
Cinematography: Jean-Claude Labrecque, Paul Leach
Animation: Arthur Lipsett
Film Editing: Arthur Lipsett
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada
(sources)

Quotes about The Invention of the Adolescent

"In The Invention of the Adolescent (1967), [Patricia] Watson devised a clever argument based, in part, upon Philippe Ariès' popular history of the family, Centuries of Childhood (1962) and also upon her personal fascination with the chain-link fence surrounding schoolgrounds as both a physical and metaphorical barrier -- a barrier that segregated children, adolescents in particular, from their historically 'normal' participation in adult social affairs."
-- Brian J. Low (source)

"The Invention of the Adolescent is an artistic success and an important sociological document. Youths are celebrating anarchy in Berlin, Paris, Columbia University and Yugoslavia, so some insight into the situation is overdue. This film provides it."
-- Bill Zimmerman (source)

Bibliography for The Invention of the Adolescent

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