Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ryan Gosling (narrator), Noam Chomsky, Talib Kweli
Written by: Phillip Montgomery
Directed by: Phillip Montgomery
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 85
Date: 05/24/2010

ReGeneration (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Do Anything

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Narrated and produced by Ryan Gosling, ReGeneration analyzes some of the particular problems going on in the world today, such as war, climate change, stagnating wages, debt, etc. It wonders why, if things weren't even this bad in the 1960s, are today's teens so complacent and apathetic? It suggests that media saturation is a huge culprit. Interviewing experts, artists, parents, and teens, it doesn't offer very many particular solutions, but it does encourage teens to understand what's going on and speak up. 

Director Phillip Montgomery has created a well-rounded documentary here, going straight to the top with experts like Noam Chomsky (pictured above) and personalities like Talib Kweli, deconstructing the way that people, and especially teens, absorb information from the media. According to the movie, this information is mainly just advertising of some kind. So, though teens think they can be happy by buying stuff, it only makes them feel emptier, and they don't know why.

When faced with today's problems, an entire generation has no idea how to respond. After getting sharp opinions and ideas from the experts, Montgomery's sympathetic camera goes to the teens, and to two young parents, who barely even have the ability to understand their feelings, much less figure out what to do. To its credit, ReGeneration can't offer any specific help, but it does leave off on a positive note, saying that change is possible -- and attainable -- if people simply do something, even something small.

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