watch the first trailer for ‘white girl,’ a raw portrait of nyc youth

Elizabeth Wood’s debut feature film is a shocking, complex sketch of what happens when teenage nihilism becomes exploitation.

by Emily Manning
13 July 2016, 4:55pm

"Kids is a film about adolescent sexuality and contains very explicit language. Some people may be offended. There will be no refunds. No one under 18 will be admitted unless accompanied by an adult." New York's Angelika Theater posted this message on pink fliers when Larry Clark's explosive depiction of the city's lawless youth opened in 1995. Its screenplay was the work of a then 19-year-old Harmony Korine, who based it on his friends' lives on the outlaw Lower East Side.

Nearly 20 years later — and with the help of Kids' producer, Christine Vachon — director Elizabeth Wood has boldly followed in their footsteps to create White Girl, an unflinching depiction of what this adolescent nihilism looks like in a rapidly gentrifying New York City, and the ways in which it leads to sexual, economic, and institutional exploitation. The film's first trailer arrived today, and if early reactions are any indication, it may very well get its own pink flyer should it screen at the Angelika.

White Girl — which is also based on Wood and her friends' real life experiences — stars India Menuez, and Homeland's Morgan Saylor as roommates Katie and Leah. It traces the two weeks before the start of their sophomore year at NYU, in which time they move to Ridgewood, Queens. These characters are neither heroes nor even very sympathetic, but to many young New Yorkers, they will seem real. This film documents behavior that is by all accounts excessive, exploitative, and abusive — a challenging picture of contemporary youth — but the conversations it will inspire make it worth seeing

Read i-D's interview with Elizabeth Wood here


Text Emily Manning

White Girl
Elizabeth Wood