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AFI research collection
Title Puberty Blues
Copyright Title Puberty Blues
Released 1981
Production Year 1981
Director Bruce Beresford
Comments Although hysterically gauche and full of cringe material, the film's honesty and humour works well to provide a rather accurate insight into the dilemmas in growing up and wanting to belong.

The film realistically examines issues of popularity, sex, female independence, the lack of guidance by parents and the inability of the education system to motivate or relate to its students.
Synopsis The story of two teenagers, Debbie and Sue, experiencing all the angst of adolescence and growing up, whose dream is to get accepted into the top surfie gang. The girls finally are initiated after cheating on an exam and not dobbing on the gang members.

Once in the gang, the girls find that life isn't so rosy on the inside. After being issued with the designated boyfriend, they perform humiliating acts of slavery and manipulation. This includes; crudely displayed obligatory sex on tap, no eating or going to the toilet around boyfriends, being a slave to boyfriends every whim and treated like a complete nitwit.

Debbie finally realises she cannot handle life as part of this gang after the drug overdose and subsequent death of her boyfriend who she thought she was pregnant to and surfs her way to independence and freedom on the crest of a wave.

tags: social realism surfing teenagers young women 
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