Identify powerful techniques in The American Teen.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Burstein's use of the documentary style helps to enhance the realism attached to the lives of the kids.  The drama of the adolescent lifestyle is undercut by the documentarian style appropriated to display the film.  This helps to force the reality that drives the film.  One has to recognize and remind oneself that there is a reality intrinsic to what is being seen.  The realistic style in which the cameras film the lives of each students brings an intimacy to what is happening, one in which the camera both reveals the realistic element to what is happening, while displaying the drama inherent in it.  In this footage element, a sense of the real is brought out, helping to create a realistic feel, but also not forgetting the art that is a part of it.The use of animation helps to bring out the conditional tenet of adolescence as a time period.  It helps to illuminate the idea that one of the beauties and yet painful elements of adolescence is that it is a time period that projects what life can be or what life should be in stark contrast to what is.  The animation technique helps to enhance this over the course of the film.