Adolescent angst is well-mined territory for writers and filmmakers. So it’s a credit to first-time filmmaker Jennifer Venditti that her documentary, Billy the Kid (available on DVD next week), feels so fresh and yet still so painfully familiar.
This Billy is a troubled and lonely 15-year-old living in rural Maine. A Van Halen enthusiast who practices karate and dreams of wooing distressed damsels, Billy’s got it rougher than most: “I’m different in the mind, different brain,” he says at the start of the film (after filming was completed, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome).
Her first film and she won Best Documentary at several film festivals. Impressive.