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17 And Life Doesn't Wait

17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT paints a lively, candid and emotionally charged view of life through the eyes of three teen girls. The film follows them during their senior year of high school, as they experience the impact of the outside world, their impending independence, and the conflicting expectations and often overwhelming anxiety that come with being a girl. It delves into the teens’ attitudes, actions and goals, as they dream about the future, and discover their passions and anxieties. While these smart, sassy, and tenacious young women may hail from diverse walks of life, each has the ambition to continue with her education, and meet her challenges head on, and in her own way. Shot over nine months, the film captures the girls’ laughter, struggles and victories. We watch them grapple with family, university acceptances (or rejections) and scholarships, engage in the perennial primping for senior prom; digest the devastation of the Parkland massacre; graduate, and confront issues around sexual identity, suicide and assault.

POV Magazine
"The topic–three vibrant teenage girls facing family and societal expectations and challenges on the threshold of finishing secondary school–allows Judge to describe what it is truly like to be an adolescent female in the twenty-first century. The usual subjects emerge, but often in unexpected ways. The girls are confident and vulnerable, innocent and sophisticated, all at the same time. They adore and depend on their parents, and reject and mock them at the same time. As always, Judge and her team have located remarkable people to be characters in the film, and built trusting relationships with them, and their families. We are aware of the director’s and the camera’s presence in this film in a way that is refreshingly honest. The girls live their lives on screen so this is just one more lens in their face."

Globe and Mail
"17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT by director Maureen Judge is a vivid, often wrenching look at life through the eyes of three teen girls. The three are in their final year of high school, and getting ready for the world outside. Of the three, some are happy and optimistic while others have dread lurking in them. The doc is wonderfully nuanced and at times heartbreaking. The matter of the suicides of teens they know comes up. Shot over nine months, 17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT is no snapshot. It delves deep into its subjects as they deal with daily life, rejection and family tensions. All three emerge as unforgettable figures."


Main credits

Judge, Maureen (film director)
Judge, Maureen (film producer)
Judge, Maureen (screenwriter)
Waxman, Martin (screenwriter)

Other credits

Director of photography: Mark Caswell; editor: Cathy Gulkin; original music: Jacob Waxman.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Girlhood Studies
Youth & Families
Education & Educational Equity
High School
Social Work
Society and Culture
Cultural Anthropology
Social Work
Family Issues
Documentary Films


Girlhood Studies, Anthropology, Children, Youth & Families, Education & Educational Equity, High School, Social Work, Society and Culture; "17 And Life Doesn't Wait"; GOOD DOCS