After more than four years in the making, a documentary by Happy Valley resident Charles Taylor Gould about the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in the Northwest is available to audiences nationwide.
Your American Teen, which features interviews with Daryl Hannah, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, won Best full-length documentary in the Northwest at the Columbia River International Film Festival in 2012 and is being distributed by Cascadia Pictures and MVD Distribution.
Your American Teen examines, through political and professional lenses, the impact of early childhood trauma on girls lives. The film focuses on three young women living in the Pacific Northwest. Intense interviews are conducted with them over about two and a half years. Their stories are horrifying and tragic, yet despite it all, Gould strives to show beauty, innocence and hope.
Gould also details how, for decades, the systems designed to protect these girls was (and still is) broken. The film outlines the need for education of law enforcement, schools, media and the public.
The goal from the outset was to educate Joe Public on this crisis and create a conversation about what we all can do to stop this violence, he said.
To that end, the film has been made available in public libraries nationwide, including Oregon, a development that pleases Gould.
This gives anyone who is interested in educating themselves about this extremely important issue, the opportunity to do so regardless of their budget, he said. Getting this film into the library circuit is a big, big step.