There is a new kid on the block. Premiering at Tribeca Film Festival this year, was The Kids, a new documentary that points a critical lens at Kids, the explosive 1995 feature film donned an art house classic that skyrocketed director Larry Clark and screenwriter Harmony Korine's fame to new heights.
You know the film. We all know the film. It stays with you like the filmy grime of the city it was filmed in, under our fingernails, under our skin. The Kids, however is described to stay with us in another way. Based on the aftermath of the original film that offered an unflinching look into the lives of New York City youth, The Kids was created as a response over 25 years later. A darker, lesser-known underbelly developed as a result of the fallout of Kids, one that Hamilton Harris is exposing.
Harris can be recognised as one of the non-professional actors who appeared in the original film, and has linked up with documentarian Eddie Martin to explore the origins of the film, and the questionable ethics of Clark and Korine.
It will look at the impact of its success on the nonprofessional actors who appeared in it, especially Justin Pierce, Harold Hunter, and Hamilton Harris, where, at 20 years old living marginal lives, they were roped into creating the film with little compensation, readily available drugs, and a poor etiquette around ethical consent. Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter have both sadly passed away since the original films release.
“Trauma was the catalyst for me,” Harris told Deadline.“It was really after Harold Hunter, one of the main characters, when he passed away that was, for me, a wakeup call to dealing with my own personal traumas and my shadow self, and I needed to work it out. Something just was drawing me towards storytelling and using this storytelling medium as a platform to heal.”
“Twenty five years ago, yes, I felt exploited,” He said, especially since the non-professional actors were underpaid while the producers made a killing on the film. “From an ethical standpoint, yeah, I wouldn’t do it that way. I’d do it differently. It’s not my place to say whether or not Larry is right or wrong. I think each of us can decide what that is for ourselves.”
The Kids premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. A release date has not yet been announced.