The Yorkton Film Festival’s (YFF) summer Films Under the Arch series continues tonight with ‘Surviving :) The Teenage Brain’.
The documentary, a 2011 episode of CBC’s The Nature of Things, was winner of the 2013 Golden Sheaf Award in the Science/Medicine/Technology documentary category.
In its introduction to the episode CBC says: “Throw away all of your preconceived ideas about the behaviour and nature of teenagers. New research suggests that without our turbulent teen years the human race would be, as Dr. David Bainbridge puts it in Surviving :) The Teenage Brain, ‘short lived and stupid’.”
Bainbridge is an expert on the turbulent teen years and author of the book Teenagers: A Natural History.
“We’ve become blind to the fact that our teenage years are, in fact, the most dramatic, intense and exciting of our lives,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. “We shouldn’t be criticizing teenagers, we should be celebrating them.”
The film starts with the story of a volunteer lab assistant at the Cystic Fibrosis lab at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto named Marshall Zhang. Zhang, at just 16 years of age made a key discovery in the fight against cystic fibrosis by combining compounds that more seasoned researchers thought was not possible. Nature of Things host David Suzuki explained that Zhang did not recognize the barriers his older colleagues saw.
“In that Marshall isn’t the exception but the rule,” Suzuki intones. “To bring a fresh perspective to old problems and challenge supposed limits is the very essence of the teenage mind and it holds the key to our success as a species.”
Tonight’s screening of Surviving :) The Teenage Brain is the third in the YFF’s summer series.
Scott Stemalschuk, YFF festival coordinator, is very pleased with the reception of the screenings this year.
“The last one had over 30 people in attendance and was a big hit,” he said.
Tonight’s show gets going at 7:30 p.m. at the Godfrey Dean Cultural Centre. It is free of charge and open to all.
After tonight there will be one more screening. On August 13, YFF presents Never Ever Do This at Home (Episode 12). This Discovery Channel comedy/reality show features hosts Teddy Wilson and Norm Souza finding out what happens when you ignore the warning labels on various household items. This episode, also a Golden Sheaf Award winner in the best director category, features: using explosives to dig a hot tub, playing with piñatas, building the largest night-light using glow-sticks, turning over an unregulated propane tank and pushing off the front of the house.