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Unaccompanied Minors: Views of Youth in Films from the Collection (MoMA, NYC)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 23, 2012 at 4:38PM

The lineup includes films like Hollow, an Angolan feature film that tells the harrowing tale of N'dala, an orphan in Angola who becomes a drifting refugee in the beach shantytowns of Luanda, Angola's capitol, where he forms a ragtag group of family and friends, all trying to survive the desolate reality of a country ravaged by civil war.
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Moma

The lineup includes films like Hollow, an Angolan feature film that tells the harrowing tale of N'dala, an orphan in Angola who becomes a drifting refugee in the beach shantytowns of Luanda, Angola's capitol, where he forms a ragtag group of family and friends, all trying to survive the desolate reality of a country ravaged by civil war.

Also, the multiple Academy Award nominated 1948 documentary, The Quiet One.

Press release below. Full lineup of the screening series HERE.

From the colorful, often Dickensian image of unaccompanied, soot-smudged children (aka urchins, ragamuffins, gamins, guttersnipes, street rats, or lil’ imps) roaming the streets of 19th-century industrial cities to contemporary reports of meninos de rua (street children) in Rio de Janeiro, throwaway kids in American urban centers, and youth displaced by civil war in Sierra Leone, prematurely emancipated children remain a distressing sociological phenomenon—and a compelling cinematic subject.

The moving picture also developed as a product of industrial innovation in the late 19th century, and the medium used daily life as inspiration for the earliest actualités and narrative films. Not only did the motion picture capture the derelict sociological status of youth emancipated by choice or fate, the camera also recorded children at play, at school, pursuing physical education, and creating youth-centric cultures. In the cinema, children are often positioned as taciturn witnesses to trauma and domestic events; sometimes they emerge with their psyches intact and sometimes they don’t.

The works selected for this exhibition—drawn primarily from MoMA’s collection—trace the image of the emancipated child, as central subject, as witness, and sometimes as catalyst for change.


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