The Youth Governor Review – Sharp Documentary Highlights the Future of Politics

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The Youth Governor, from Greenwich Entertainment, presents the future of California politics following teen candidates as they campaign for California Youth Governor, through a unique statewide program that allows them to immerse themselves in the political process.

The documentary opens with roll call in Sacramento, the seat of political power in California, as we meet the prospective candidates, each greeted exuberantly by hundreds of teens from around the state who are involved in the California YMCA Youth and Government (Y&G).


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The California YMCA Youth and Government (Y&G) is a statewide YMCA program that was founded in 1947. For 75 years, Y&G has immersed high school-aged kids in a robust and experiential government simulation complete with a senate and assembly, lobbyists, appellate court, supreme court, department of education, committees, political parties, and elections.

Each student picks a role including senator, judge, assemblymen/women, and trains for that role at two training conferences in November and January. During the two conferences party primaries and general primaries happen for the youth governor candidates, and any of the other candidates running for other elected positions.

Throughout the film, as the potential gubernatorial candidates are eliminated leaving only five, then three, the campaigning becomes heated. Each Youth Governor candidate surrounds themselves with youth campaign managers, speech writers, and publicists, all members of the Y&G organization.


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The documentary follows the narrowed pool of three candidates through their campaigns, in a fly on the wall style of filming. We are privy to conversations between the candidates and their camps, as well as individual interviews. We also meet them personally, as the camera travels home with them in between the first and second Y&G meetings.

Each of these teens displayed unique mix of ambition, confidence, shamelessness, motivation, and a dedication to make a difference. We also hear the issues that drive these teen candidates, and realize they are very much in tune with the heartbeat of the nation. The political agendas presented cover everything from homelessness to housing cost to school shootings and climate changes, global warming, equality, and a society free from discrimination, and so many hot button issues that can make or break any political campaign.

Additionally, candidates chose party affiliation, we meet democrats, republicans and conservatives, the leaders of tomorrow, campaigning across the 4000 or more caucus of teens to secure their electoral votes. The final roll call determines the next Youth Governor.


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In February, during Presidents Day weekend, Y&G takes over the city of Sacramento, the Capitol building, the Supreme and Appellate Court buildings, and runs a functioning government for 5 days. At the end of Sacramento, the youth governor for the following year is elected in a live roll call caucus-style vote.

The Youth Governor is captivating; and more it is alive with hope that the next generation of political representation, not only in California, but nationally also, can bridge the political chasm and disentangle themselves from the cesspool so often equated with politics.


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Country: USA.

Runtime: 86minutes.

Platform: Amazon, AppleTV+.

Director: Jaron & Matthew Halmy

Producer: Jason Blum, Matthew Halmy.

Executive Producers: Jeremy Gold, Mary Lisio, Amanda Spain.

Writer: Jeremy David White Jaron Halmy Matthew Halmy.

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