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Daily Reviews and Interviews

By Diana Welch, March 16, 2007, Screens

Billy the Kid

D: Jennifer Venditti

In her near-perfect directorial debut, Venditti lovingly captures the trials of one troubled adolescent's life in small-town Maine. At 15, Billy Price is practically a genius. He's interested in girls, Kiss, and slasher movies. He has a purple belt in karate and hopes to one day come to the aid of a damsel in distress. He also suffers from severe temper tantrums during which he's prone to bang his head against the wall. As a toddler, he gave his mom a couple of black eyes. But Billy is who he is, and his mother is proud of him. The empathy that Venditti feels for her subject is catching, tapping the audience into every awkward moment that Billy bravely endures. In her subject, she found not only a captivating kid but also someone who exemplifies the torture that is being a teenager, from the furtive shame of sitting alone in the cafeteria to the pain and elation of first love.

Billy the Kid received the Documentary Feature competition Jury Award.

1:45pm, Alamo Downtown

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