All This Panic – A phenomenal document of teenhood from Jenny Gage

We like to present something new and different to our loyal visitors here at Genesis, and our limited engagement of Jenny Gage’s festival favourite All This Panic (2016) reflects that as well as we could hope.

A refreshing and insightful take on the coming of age docudrama, Gage’s film concentrates on the lives of a group of teenage girls growing up in Brooklyn over a remarkable three year period.

As we engage with the seven very different females, and their various paths as they negotiate the end of high school and initiation into the adult world, it becomes clear not only how painful a period this is for all young adults, but how vividly that can be evoked when essayed by a filmmaker who not only sympathises with her subjects, but allows them the space to be who they are without attempting to steer or alter the narrative in favour of drama.

Yet there is drama aplenty – Ginger’s dreams of acting fame rub up against her family’s expectations; Olivia begins to investigate her own sexuality on-camera but away from her loved ones; Lena, struggling for a sense of identity and normalcy against a backdrop of familial disharmony and mental illness, attempts to find a level of happiness.

There are moments of tear-stinging poignance as we follow their journeys; yet there are also memorable and beautiful moments in the imagery Gage’s partner, cinematographer Tom Betterton, captures around the city of New York and particularly on the boardwalks of Coney Island.

All This Panic is a welcome and touching reminder for the older audiences to never forget the struggle of young adulthood, and for young people everywhere, this film presents the chance to see that there are other people going through experiences very similar to theirs, right up there on the big screen. For these reasons, the film offers not only entertainment, but a proxy for company within a slice of cinematic hope.

You can see All This Panic all this week here at Genesis, in conjunction with our year-long #DirectedByWomen2017 season:

A look at the interior lives of a group of teenage girls as they come of age in Brooklyn, capturing the fleeting transition between childhood and adulthood.

Please do comment and let us know what you think of the film.


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