Henry Girioux, Professor of Secondary Education Penn State University Author, "Channel Surfing: Racism, The Media & the Deconstruction of Today Youth."
Mike Males Sociologist and Author, "The Scapegoat Generation" Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Cathy Poulson, High School English Teacher Sitka, Alaska
Michele M. Arcury, E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
Educational Media Reviews Online
In this documentary, teenagers residing in a small rural town in Alaska are given a video camera and instructed to film aspects of their day to day lives while providing insight into their perceptions of the world in which they live. We see these young adults doing the things they love to do; the things they are passionate about, from painting to making music, while they discuss their feelings about their town and the direction in which their lives are heading. Attitudes range from the very painful (“pain makes you feel real”) to the optimistic (“it’s all what you make of it”).
Adults viewing this film (especially those who work with teenagers) should take note of the teenagers’ perceptions of how they are treated by adults. The name of the film derives from the belief among the teens that there are “no loitering” signs posted all over town, directed toward them. Many believe they are viewed as second-class citizens. Also noteworthy is the teenagers’ attitudes toward adults. Adults are described as untrustworthy and perceived as having a tendency to make things complicated.
For adults, No Loitering demonstrates the uniqueness and individuality of teenagers, while proving to teenagers that many of their feelings, attitudes and issues are universal among their peers, regardless of where they grow up.
The teens are allowed to tell their story with minimal narration, resulting in a documentary that the teens can be proud of creating.
This film would be an asset to an academic library with social work, sociology, psychology, or education collections. Secondary school libraries and public libraries may want to have this film available for parents, teenagers, family counselors, social workers or youth group leaders.
Anita Gordon, Lincoln High School, Ypsilanti, MI.
School Library Journal
No Loitering Gr. 9-12 Teens in Sitka, a small island town is Alaska, are often disturbed by the no loitering signs. They feel unwanted and frustrated because they have no place to go. About a dozen of them, from various ethnic groups, use video cameras to tell their stories, vent their often angry feelings, and examine their hopes. Several relate family problems; one has been seriously depressed and talks about cutting himself. All share a desire to improve their situation and the conditions for teens on the island. In addition, they want to find or make a place in society. Most belong to a group organized by teens, United Forces, which a provides a place and activities for teens to express themselves. Some of the members of the group want to be performers, artists, and filmmakers. They paint murals, and organize concerts and exhibitions. Some visit schools where they interview and film other teens, including a Native Alaskan in a boarding school, who tries to keep up with her native culture, but is concerned that she is loosing facility in her mother tongue. The program, which captures the concerns of teens and their efforts to overcome their sense of isolation through video shot by teens as well as the filmmaker, may inspire other teens to talk about issues of vital importance. It could be used in guidance, health, psychology and sociology classes.
Marianee Eimer, SUNY at Fredonia Library Library Journal*
No Loitering (*Note this review is for both "No Loitering" and film called "City at Peace" by Susan Koch available through Transit Media) Despite the geographical diversity of these videos (the middle of Washington, DC [City at Peace] and an island in the middle of Alaska [No Loitering], they were strikingly similar in that their images capture the same message for teen life, regardless of the location. Both programs present teens' sense of isolation, emotional pain, the struggle to fit in, the sadness from witnessing to much at too young an age, and the need to on the parenting role abdicated by adults. Both producers do an admirable job of encouraging their subjects to share the conditions of their lives, helping them to establish a common bond in order to break through the barriers of fear and distrust. After providing the microcosm of teen society, both videos end with follow-up information on the teens profiled, giving the viewer a look at how each is following his/her goals. Professional production methods are evident in both films. These videos would be useful in public, college, and school libraries. Starting with middle school grades.
Dana Chase, participant in NO LOITERING
Peter Williams, participant in NO LOITERING
Marlene Booth Filmmaker and Parent