An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born.
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. - A Discussion of Teenage Sex & Pregnancy
Watched “Just Another Girl on the i.R.T." directed by Leslie Harris for the first time, the film was released in 1992 and tackles the issues of teenage sex, unplanned pregnancy, and poverty. The character of Chantel Mitchell is a somewhat smart and sassy 17 year old teen easily impressed by material things but refreshingly has goals and dreams of going to college early to "be somebody". Even with her goals, Chantel’s plans get altered when she and her boyfriend accidentally become pregnant.
I possibly went into viewing the film with bigger expectation than I got from it, most people who have seen it hold it up to a high sense of acclaim. (Though it was a welcome change from current films to see a Black female teen character, set her teacher straight about Africa and the plight of Black America!) Filmed in the early 1990’s, the problems that Chantel faces are still relevant among high school girls (and boys) today. Possibly if an updated version of “Just Another Girl on the I.R.T." were to debut in theaters for the new generation, it would start the much needed conversation and education about ways to prevent unplanned teenage pregnancies, and educate teens about safe sex. In a way I enjoyed watching the film, while other parts were a bit unnecessary and not as realistic, though it was pleasant to see a film from a black female director perspective. if anything "Just Another Girl from the I.R.T." helps prove that sex (and it’s results) are a big decision, you have to be emotionally ready and responsible for, and during your teen years most haven’t reached that point yet.
Films that address little talked about issues are needed in these times, as the teenage pregnancy rate for the 2000’s - 2013 is still ridiculously high. In 2013-2014, a film that dares to address things like teen sex, and unplanned pregnancy (which most parents would rather ignore and hide from) is beyond necessary, in between the early 1990’s to date, has any film been released that actually addresses this very real problem? Eventually teenagers (male and female both) need to be educated on sex over just trying to push abstinence, if not by their school’s sex education class (in my high school, we never had one),or their parents then by a reliable knowledgable source other than friends (which is probably where most learn or through experimenting). In this case, art through film can hopefully make teenagers think twice/be smarter, and maybe prevent one less statistic in this continuing cycle of mis/un-education and result in one less unaccomplished dream.