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kids + money

NR
4.9 out of 5 stars (8) IMDb 7.5/10

Acclaimed photographer and documentary filmmaker ("Thin"), Lauren Greenfield, interviews kids in Los Angeles about their relationship with money. "kids + money" was selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2008, and after many festival awards and critical acclaim, the title was acquired by HBO, who broadcast it on Black Friday on November 28th, 2008.

Starring:
Matthew Underwood
Runtime:
32 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Director Lauren Greenfield
Starring Matthew Underwood
Studio Greenfield/Evers LLC
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I watched Lauren Greenfield's Kids + Money on my laptop on an afternoon. The mini-doc is only a half hour, and I wish it was double the size. In a time of economic recession and financial uncertainty for many middle class Americans, this should be mandatory viewing for kids and their parents.

I've seen other documentaries portraying money and youth in America: Jamie Johnson's Born Rich is an excellent example of growing up as an East Coast elite, but Greenfield's doc differs by portraying average families trying to attain the American Dream through consumption. The one thirteen year-old girl speaks and acts like an eighteen year-old woman and dresses accordingly. It's amazing to see the responses of their parents who do nothing to deter the behavior of their kids. Also watch the guilt in another girl's eyes when her friend explains not being able to afford going to a dance because her Mom doesn't have enough money.

I think the combined influence of indifferent parents mixed with a mass media machine that pumps out dreams, images, and a "want" for labels and brands is to blame. It all brings to mind Bret Easton Ellis's "too fast, too soon" youth in Less Than Zero and the lyrics of The Decemberist's "Los Angeles, I'm Yours." Greenfield's Kids + Money is a quick glance at discontented American youth. Recommended for those interested in what lies beneath the hollow glimmer and glitz of consumerism.
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Format: DVD
'Kids + Money' on HBO
This documentary examines American youths' relationship with money.
By MARY McNAMARA, Television Critic (November 28, 2008)

Social corruption is never quite as startling as when it's illustrated by children. In the one-hour documentary "Kids + Money," photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, ("Thin") interviews 13 Los Angeles children about their relationship with money, and as you would imagine, it is not particularly healthy. Here's 17-year old Emmanuel, who, with financial assistance, attends Harvard-Westlake and obsessively dreams of being part of the wealth he sees every day. Here's 12-year-old Annika, who badgers her mother constantly for a wardrobe that can pass muster in any of her school's cliques, and 17-year-old Sean Michael, who had to get a job when his folks refused to support his Nike habit.

"In L.A.," explains Phoebe, 16, in a bored voice, "the money is on the surface level. When you meet someone, it's like, 'Hi. I'm this person. I'm rich,' or 'Hi, I'm this person. I wish I was rich.' "

This "whatever" acceptance of life defined by possessions is balanced by a few more sensible voices -- Luis, 14, knows what it's like to go without food, and Zoie, 17, lives in such a tiny apartment that she shares a bedroom with her parents. But the point is clear: Many children are part of a status infrastructure so rooted in wealth it makes Edith Wharton's New York look like a socialist utopia.

It is easy to dismiss these kids, with their credit cards and spa birthday parties, as simply spoiled rotten. Tempting too -- especially when one young diva gives her mother, who is in the next room, the finger, or the almost finger, before looking at the camera with a hackle-raising mixture of guilt and defiance.
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Another spectacular documentary. Parents need to see this and consider whether or not they are enabling their children to become consumers instead of creators. I think there was only one instance of these kids thinking about college.
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Really. Her documentaries are incredible.

I appreciated that this one in particular didn't have any academic commentary (or any commentary whatsoever) because it allows the viewer to form her own perspective, without being influenced by dr-whoever, from whatever-university.

Fabulous.
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