I recently saw a trailer for the upcoming movie Girl on the Edge made to boost activity in an industry for scared parents.
Back in 1980’s where Reagan started the war on drugs and increased punishment for possession even the slightest amount of drugs an industry started to offer parents afraid that their children would end up in prison for life before they even had a chance to come back to the right path. The 1990’s with their 3-strike laws didn’t make it better. The industry boomed – The lawsuits and the number of teenagers who died in residential programs also.
Every single year teenagers die in residential programs. They die from illnesses which can be cured in any hospital or they die as result with confrontation with employees who is not trained to deal with a disagreement with talk but only to solve it using force and violence.
For some years former residents who happened to be lucky enough to survive have been able to turn the press coverage into covering the tragedies which happens in the residential treatment program leaving parent with the loss of a child. As result many treatment programs have been forced to close. They blame the economy but they should blame themselves for creating unhappy former residents.
It is not the first time the industry did use the media trying to paint a positive image of the industry. The now forgotten “Higher Grounds” with Hayden Christensen as main cast rain for a full season. Among the people connected to the series was Rob Dias who founded Diamond Ranch Academy. It is a facility located near Hurricane in Utah where two teenage boys died while they were forced to stay there.
Having written with various human rights group I have not found evidence that anyone has died at Uinta Academy which is being used as inspiration in this new movie but then of course Higher Ground was produced long before the pile of dead teenagers began to stack in Hurricane.
I don’t doubt that it could be a good movie because the cast is great and if the script is only half as good it would be a good marketing for industry. The problem is that there still are too many uninformed parents out there who don’t know a lot about where the real dangers are when we are speaking 2015.
In Denmark where I live we don’t care about teens drinking alcohol. We do care when they don’t and start to save for a plane ticket to Turkey so they can cross the border to Syria and start to fight for ISIS. Maybe it is culture thing with these online predators. Having volunteered for the night owls which is a parent organization in Denmark who walks the street and observe teen drinking parties at distance I find that the teens of today acts just like small fish acting under the threat of sharks. They group together knowing that predators don’t want to confront a group. If one gets too much they see to that the individual is followed back home to bed.
It is really about social interaction and belonging in a group. Any society must fight for “hygge” and social interaction between teenagers. They have to learn about life by stumbling into it. They get bumps and bruises but they become strong. The minute something feels left out it becomes dangerous. Then there is no more drinking and the saving towards the plane ticket to a war zone starts.
It is something this movie leaves out. It is – based on the trailer – a question about relaunching a troubled teenage industry in crisis. It is the best product placement or embedded marketing I have seen for a long time.