I’m a sucker for the behind-the-scenes machinations of almost all things political, so the trailer for Jason Pollock’s The Youngest Candidate, a documentary focusing on a quartet of teens/early twentysomethings running for public office, is, topically, right in my wheelhouse. (Not to nag, but shouldn’t the title then be candidates, plural?) Good that it works as a piece of legitimate, intrigue-stimulating short-form non-fiction, then, no matter how the feature-length version might play out.
There are flashes of pure entertainment value in the trailer, and the life stories of the subjects seem diverse and interesting, too. Still, even as someone who recognizes that ageism exists, and is distasteful, I’m perhaps most heartened that Pollock doesn’t seem to give these kids a free pass; the movie appears to capture and embrace the headstrong obstinateness of youth, and craft an implicit narrative track that underscores the counterbalancing value and significance of experience and discretion — the latter one of the most difficult learned traits of adolescence. I missed The Youngest Candidate‘s special “Donkaphant” festival screening about a month back, pegged to coincide with the Los Angeles Film Festival, but look forward to seeing it hopefully gain some traction elsewhere, either on the festival circuit or with an eventual boutique release.