'Girls State' documentary premieres at DOC110 Film Festival screening at Siskel Film Center

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
'Girls State' documentary premiers at Chicago film festival
A preview premiere of the "Girls State" documentary will be held at the Siskel Film Center on State Street as part of the DOC10 Film Festival.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's acclaimed DOC 10 Film Festival has a preview premiere of "Girls State" Wednesday night.

The documentary is about young women who participate in a kind of fantasy camp in government leadership roles. The movie follows hundreds of Missouri teens who role play as the nation's top leaders.

"We live in intense times, and I think they bring that intensity to this experience, which is why it's such a great space to make a documentary," said director and producer Jesse Moss. "Everything that we're experiencing in the country is being transmitted into this one week program and they feel it, they show it."

The documentary was already under way when the Supreme Court issued their Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and removed federal protection of abortion rights, giving the movie a different and somewhat unexpected kind of immediacy.

"We knew generally where politics was headed but we could not have predicted that one week before their session that Supreme Court decision came out," said director and producer Amanda McBaine.

"The girls in this program, they throw themselves into this process," Moss said. "It's a messy process, it's a hard process, but they come out transformed. Don't stand on the sidelines; learn how democracy works, raise your voice."

The girls are also able to form unexpected connections.

"Something we really respect about this program, there are very few spaces where people that different come together and have conversations," said McBaine.

"They're not actors, but they're movie stars and I think audiences will love to meet them and be surprised by them and fall in love with them," Moss said.

You can see the Chicago debut of "Girls State" at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Siskel Film Center on State Street. The directors will be at the DOC 10 event to answer questions about the movie.