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‘Listen’ shows how important it is to hear what teenagers are saying

By Alexis Schatten, Asst. Section Editor

Students were given the opportunity to watch “Listen” and discuss the movie with director Erahm Christopher on Jan. 17, and it might just be one of the most hard-hitting films of this decade.The movie revolves around several students, who each have their own struggles inside and outside of a school setting. None of these students felt that they had people they could speak to about their problems, leading to a variety of bad outcomes.

A teen drama with an underlying message that everyone should be kinder to each other because they don’t know what others are going through is nothing new, but Christopher took it to the next level by creating a group of characters that are based on people he’s met, instead of compiling a list of high school stereotypes that each have their own problems buried deep down, like many of today’s teen-targeted films and shows.

The movie, which was far from lighthearted and was presented with a forewarning that students would be able to leave at any time if they found the movie to be too intense, tackled many common issues, like body image and pressure from parents, that most films and TV shows would never dare to go into.

This disregard for the idea that these normally taboo topics should be kept far from the big screen made the movie that much more real for me and many other students who found that they could relate to at least one, if not more, of the characters that Christopher brought to life.

However, several teachers felt that it wasn’t the best film to play to a room full of teenagers.

“I think it might’ve been a good idea, the point that they were trying to get across, but I don’t think it came across in the best way,” math teacher Mrs. Picchiarini said. “I thought it was over the top; I thought it was every stereotype exaggerated to the nth degree.”

While exaggeration of emotions is typical of a teen drama, the movie does tend to dramatize the real events that Christopher’s friends have gone through. This makes the movie less realistic, but makes sure that the message is received clearly.

The heavy topics this movie brought up was the reason it has been played at high schools throughout the district, as explained by peer counseling teacher Mrs. Dooling, who wanted to show this movie for this reason specifically.

“They dealt with topics that teenagers are going through today,” Dooling said.

Despite the hesitance displayed by some teachers, the showing of this movie was a positive step toward showing students that they always have someone they can talk to at our school and just what many students needed in today’s society.

Posted: Feb. 5

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