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Wow! is legendary director Claude Jutra’s under-recognized epic of teenage angst and revolt, made two years before Mon Oncle Antoine. Jutra selected a group of teenagers as his documentary subjects, three girls and six boys, drawing out their opinions and attitudes about sex, politics, drugs, friends, parents, and the future. In true mentor/confessor fashion, he also drew out their intimate desires and fantasies, then dramatized them with his typically lavish NFB budget and the characters’ intense performances - Babette conceives of herself as an abbess defending her fortress, a convent; Michelle is transported in a dream of love where all time ceases; Philippe is the revolutionary, defeating all the institutions that plague him, and so on, through all their fantasies - to make a docudrama episode film that is truly unique in the catalogue, if not world film history. 

Within our two national cinemas in which youth films have long been a privileged genre, Wow! takes the cake, resilient in its solidarity and tenderness (not to mention voyeurism), aching in its eve-of-Stonewall ambiguity. Added bonus: Wow! is the only NFB film ever to display nude trampoline choreography by the future producer and French studio head Monique Simard (and former elected deputy of the Parti Quebecois).[1]

[1]Thomas Waugh for Hot Docs: