documentary hack

Boys State

Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Boys State follows an annual week-long program where American teenage boys are challenged to elect and form a government.


Boys State

Boys State

by Amanda McBaine


Since 1935, the American Legion has sponsored a week-long program across the U.S. in which upwards of 1,000 16- and 17-year-old boys in each state are tasked with forming a government. Past Boys State members include Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Neil Armstrong, and Dick Cheney. This documentary chronicles the 2018 Texas Boys State chapter, and highlights key individuals as they learn about democracy and civil discourse. It delves deep into their motives and tactics, and questions the morality of politics.

In a fierce and compelling narrative, we witness how boys set about forming government in a way that critics have described as a mimicry of American politics today.

From impeachment and political sabotage to contentious policies and racism, Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss's multiple award-winning documentary asks what it means to be a politician.

Favorite quote

We shouldn't be inspired by fear, we should be inspired by hope. And it comes down to knowing what you believe you're doing is in the best interest of everybody, not just yourself.

- Steven Garzen, Boy State Nationalist Party Leader

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