Mortified Nation

Country: United States

Duration: 105 min

Director: Mike Mayer

 4/5 
It is done with deep self-knowledge, and empathy for the peculiar obsessions of their youth.

Have you ever read your diary from adolescence, and squirmed with embarrassment at your younger self?

Probably the last thing you would consider doing would be to offer up such cringe-worthy content for public consumption.

Some brave souls, however, have done just that.

Mortified Nation documents a live performance evening, which first began in Los Angeles, California, where people read amusing excerpts from the diaries they kept when they were teenagers.  It’s an incredible source of comedy, and tender without becoming mawkish.

David Nadelberg created the evening after he read, to a group of friends, an excruciatingly awkward love letter he’d penned whilst in high school.

His friends found it hilarious.

Nadelberg began to contemplate this youngster that everyone found so funny.

“Who was this boy everyone was laughing at?”

That is an interesting question to pose, because though Nadelberg and that boy are one and the same, there is a significant enough difference between the two of them, for Nadelberg’s teenage self to feel like a different person.

mortified netflix

As it is with all the other performers profiled in the documentary, all of who explore, with remarkable candour and honesty, the confusion of their youth; the frustrations and longing they felt when they were teenagers, trying to figure out exactly who and what they were.

What Mortified Nation captures perfectly, is that, the performers, in reviving that long-dead version of themselves, feel no shame or scorn.

It is done with deep self-knowledge, and empathy for the peculiar obsessions of their youth.

A cheerful eulogy, for a person left behind on the long difficult journey into adulthood, but who lives on in fond memory.

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