LAST DAYS AT PARADISE HIGH
Filmmakers: Derek Knowles and Emily Thomas
Year of Release: 2020
TRT: 23 mins
Country of Origin: U.S.
In a striking mix of normalcy and trauma, solace and gravity, Last Days at Paradise High looks at a climate catastrophe through the eyes of a group of teenagers.
After the most destructive fire in California history destroys the town of Paradise, the end of the school year takes on added meaning for two seniors, Harmony and Kody, and their beloved teacher, Mrs. Partain. As the end of school approaches, these displaced teens grapple with their fading youth like their peers across the country — struggling to stay motivated in class, fighting to be heard, capriciously asserting newfound independence, and deciding what to do next, after graduation. But these moments of classic teenage drama are routinely ruptured by jarring reminders that they have lived through one of the greatest disasters in their country’s history.
“The ultimate aim with this film is to include the good with the bad, the familiar with the unexpected, to broaden the perception and deepen the understanding of a disaster and its unforeseen impacts. We want to show both young and old generations how they might live beyond the grim issues of the day, to remind them of the complications and joys of youth, and to demonstrate, through the examples of our subjects, the opportunity for collective healing.”
– Last Days At Paradise High Directors’ Statement