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Is it Easy to be Young? (1987) by Juris Podnieks

Is it Easy to be Young? (1987)
by Juris Podnieks

This ground-breaking Latvian documentary by Juris Podnieks starts at a concert of the banned rock band, Perkons. When a train carriage is vandalised after the concert, Podnieks pulls together a patchwork of conversations with those caught up in its aftermath. Subjects include a teenager charged with hooliganism at the show trial, a young filmmaker, a mother worried about her child after Chernobyl, a follower of Hari Krishna, young soldiers returning from military service in Afghanistan. The film builds a series of poignant stories of wild honesty as these teenagers struggle to create meaning in their lives.  Mikhail Gorbachev called the film “the first bird of Perestroika”. It was watched by over 28 million people on its release.

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