'Boys State': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about the Apple TV+ compelling documentary

Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise when teenage boys join together to form a government

                            'Boys State': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about the Apple TV+ compelling documentary
(Apple TV+)

If you thought that the events of Ryan Murphy’s critically-acclaimed satirical series ‘The Politician’ is exaggerated fiction that bears only a mild resemblance to reality, a documentary film is coming your way to change your mind. ‘Boys State’ created by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine centers on a group of teenage boys from Texas who join together to build a representative government from the ground up.

Release date

‘Boys State’ will premiere in select US theaters on Friday, July 31, ahead of its global debut on Apple TV+ on Friday, August 14.


As per Apple TV+, ‘Boys State’, the sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at 2020's Sundance Film Festival, is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amid the sea of red.

In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope.


The documentary is directed and produced by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine. Moss is a noted documentary filmmaker whose style can often be characterized as cinéma vérité. Moss’ most famous documentary projects include the five-part Netflix docu-series ‘The Family’, and the award-winning docu-feature ‘The Overnighters’. His other works include titles such as ‘Con Man’, ‘Speedo: A Demolition Derby Love Story’, and ‘Full Battle Rattle’. 

Director of photography Thorsten Thielow, director Amanda McBaine and cinematographers Patrick Bresnan and Daniel Carter behind the scenes in 'Boys State' (Apple TV+)

McBaine, also a seasoned documentary filmmaker, has worked with Moss previously on ‘Speedo’ and ‘The Overnighters’. McBaine’s other works include titles such as ‘The Investigators’, ‘P.O.V’, and ‘Wolf's Mouth’.
‘Boys State’ has been executive produced by Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott, and Shannon Dill.

Documentary subject Steven Garza and director Jesse Moss behind the scenes in 'Boys State' (Apple TV+)



The trailer for ‘Boys State’ that dropped on Tuesday, June 30, promises a film to undoubtedly be one of the most compelling and entertaining documentaries of 2020. The film has already been a darling of the festival circuit — and positive quotes from reviews keep appearing on the screen as the trailer moves forward.


But even without these recommendations, it is difficult not to be intrigued by what you see. A boy who has a Ronald Reagan action figure, a boy who is a charismatic leader, but gets negatively called a 'good politician' by the others, boys who try to identify with ideas of race and masculinity. All of these serious ideas are captured in the process of something mind-blowingly ridiculous, a boys-only mock election exercise in Texas.

If there is any normal way to describe this project, it is this: Imagine ‘The Politician’ meets ‘American Vandal’. 

If you like this, you will love:

‘American Vandal’

‘Welcome to Chechnya’

‘The Fight’

‘Knock Down The House’

‘The Politician’

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