#ReGENERATION: Far From Wall Street, a Call to Activism

After making the festival circuit in 2010, this youth-oriented call to activism has been tweaked to include Occupy Wall Street, but it otherwise feels hopelessly behind the times. Tired old talking heads include Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Amy Goodman—plus a weird clip of Tucker Carlson indicting the media. (C’mon, Tucker, Dancing With the Stars ain’t so bad!) Director Phillip Montgomery also deploys much archival footage of JFK, MLK, RFK, etc., to advance his argument that millennials can rise to the level of the WWII and boomer generations. What’s stopping apathetic Generation Xbox from achieving greatness? The film rapidly loses focus as various causes are cited: alienation from nature, the distraction engine of the Internet, poor schools, a rigged political system, and so forth. (Ryan Gosling narrates.) Minneapolis teens, a suburban couple, and earnest Atlanta jam band Sound Tribe Sector 9 also lend their muddled opinions. One of the latter musicians laments that “All of us care, but we just don’t know what to do about it.” Dude—make a movie! And Montgomery indeed follows STS9 all the way to an outdoor show at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where another band once . . . well, let’s not make that comparison. #ReGENERATION merely intends to inspire high schoolers (if they’ll look up from their smartphones long enough), but its vagueness and lack of critical-thinking skills will have adults wondering if Montgomery has ever seen a documentary by Charles Ferguson, who can rile you up to act with just the facts.