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Juvenile Court 1973

Frederick Wiseman’s Juvenile Court concerns the establishment of the title, a bureaucratic institution in Memphis, TN, which on a daily basis sees and tries a variety of teens (and younger) involved in anything from petty theft to armed robbery. The protocol is nothing unordinary: those accused are brought and detained until a proper corrective solution is pronounced (typically a foster home or “training” school), and often the crimes reach trial, each overseen by a benevolent judge. Although the proceedings are generally calm, all of this comes across as unusually dire—because these are all children.

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