A CBS News presentation, hosted by Harry Reasoner, that manages a balancing act between a sober critical analysis of the idealistic and sometime naive youth revolution centered in Haight-Ashbury and a cynical and culturally bigoted.dismissal of the values of this subculture that challenged this very same cynicism and bigotry. Contains precious period film footage of life in the geographic location most credited with the genesis of the psychedelic movement, some dualistically troubling footage of drug abuse and psychiatric treatment, and an especial focus on the band whose home was considered to be the “city hall” of the subculture, The Grateful Dead, who not only give eloquent voice to the values of this new society but who also evince their principles with a free performance at Golden Gate Park, playing Dancin’ In The Streets.
A second documentary film about the former Torrance High senior class was directed by Keva Rosenfeld in 2014 (released in 2015), All American High Revisited. It combines the original film with new footage of the film’s principal subjects being interviewed on their high school years, the process of growing up, and the various paths in life that they took.
The film was released in October 1968 by Wiseman’s distribution company, Zipporah Films. High School has been aired on PBS Television. Wiseman distributes his work (DVDs and 16mm prints) through Zipporah Films, which rents them to high schools, colleges, and libraries on a five-year long-term lease. High School was selected in 1991 for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Wiseman made a second documentary on high school, High School II, based on Central Park East Secondary School in New York City, released in 1994.
This cinéma vérité documentary covers several months in the lives of a group of high school students in Muncie, Ind. The filmmaker focuses on Lynn, a white girl whose relationship with an African-American student has caused controversy. After a cross is burned on her lawn, Lynn responds with righteous anger rather than fear, standing up to her community’s bigotry. Meanwhile, Lynn’s peers face their own trials, including an unplanned pregnancy and alcohol abuse.
Release date: February 1985 (USA)
Directors: Joel DeMott, Jeff Kreines
Film series: Middletown
Screenplay: Joel DeMott, Jeff Kreines
Awards: Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize – U.S. Documentary
‘In their final year at Muncie’s Southside High School, a group of seniors hurtles toward maturity with a combination of joy, despair, and an aggravated sense of urgency. They are also learning a great deal about life, both in and out of school, and not what school officials think they are teaching.’ -IMdB