In their final year at Muncie's Southside High School, a group of seniors hurtles toward maturity with a combination of joy, despair, and an aggravated sense of urgency. They are also learning a great deal, both in and out of school, that is often quite different from what school officials think they are teaching.
Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.
"Every bit as relevant today as when it came out in 1983" - The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Grand Jury Prize Documentary, 1985 Sundance Film Festival
"One of the best and most scarifying reports on American life. It has the characters and language—as well as the vitality and honesty... haunts the memory." —The New York Times
“Truly scandalous.” —J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
"Remains one of the most essential films ever made about American youth." —Nashville Scene
"An earthy mix of disrespect for authority, foul language, drunkenness, pot-smoking, interracial sex, and just hanging out." —Journal of American Culture
"Has a rare and gripping sense of gritty honesty." —San Francisco Chronicle
"SEVENTEEN went from being banned from broadcast by PBS to success on the festival circuit and a theatrical release. Even today, it is easy to see why the film was controversial.” —Harvard Film Archive
"Positively crucial to documentary film history. SEVENTEEN is loaded with tap beer, pot smoke, feathered hair, wood paneling, F-bombs, and copious amounts of classic rock, including a radio DJ’s spin of Seger’s ageless “Against the Wind,” requested at kegger’s end by a drunken youth in dedication to a buddy who died just hours earlier in a car crash... SEVENTEEN is somehow funny, in part for how defiantly its editing bucks the old-school rules of vérité in its search for one darkly comic juxtaposition after another." —Film Comment