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Boys State: Apple Original Film’s Directors Stop by to Discuss the Film

Boys State: Coming of Age Through Politics
Home / Podcast / Episodes / Boys State: Apple Original Film’s Directors Stop by to Discuss the Film

My guests Amanda McBain and Jesse Moss are the co-directors and producers of the new Apple TV Plus documentary ‘Boys State’. The documentary follows the journey of four boys taking part in a programme where they attempt to build a representative government from the ground up.

As you can expect from a group of teenagers, we see a mixture of idealistic youth ingenuity, and a ‘Lord of the Flies’ type of scenario unfold. What begins as a political programme turns into a beautiful coming of age story as we see the way these boys change as they attempt to gain political power.

It is both a hilarious look at American politics, and a shocking reality of what being involved in politics can do to even the most admirable of people.

Available to watch on Apple TV+ and Netflix, the film is thought-provoking, inspiring, and at times downright terrifying…

“Justice, fairness, and equality is a struggle. As much as we wanted a happy ending, it’s really about living to fight another day.” – Amanda McBaine  

Time Stamps:
01:13 – What the new Apple TV+ documentary ‘Boys State’ is about.
03:32 – The trailer for ‘Boys State’.
11:29 – How Jesse found out about the program and what made him make a film about it.
13:30 – How many of these kids’ views are authentic and how many of them are just looking for acceptance.
19:28 – How having cameras may have influenced the ways the boys were acting.
21:56 – How they chose who to film and what to focus on.
24:55 – The different takeaways the boys gained from their time in the program.
30:03 – The planned sequel of ‘Girls State’.
31:46 – The prevalence of the program across America, and why they chose to film the one in Texas.
36:04 – The enduring love and optimism the candidate Stephen has.
38:16 – The increased political awareness that young people have now.
40:21 – The contest of optimism and cynicism that is prevalent in our society.
42:17 – How the program is able to separate ‘real’ politics with their ‘simulated’ election.
47:55 – The ways that some people are naturally made for politics.
52:32 – The performative aspect of politics and how that helps create a space to explore teenage identity.
55:40 – What the food was like at the program.


Boys State (2020)
The Texas Boys State
Boys State: A Reflection of a Polarized Society on Factual America
Texas Real Food

Connect with Amanda McBaine:

Connect with Jesse Moss:

Connect with Patrick Scott Armstrong:

More From The Lone Star Plate:
Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins
Mark Davis: The Tweets to the Wind
Rick Kennedy: Follow the Money
Pete Sessions: The Running Man
Konni Burton: The Texan

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