We Can Be Heroes: Celebrating the Power of Teenagers’ Imagination

A heartwarming documentary that showcases the creativity and imagination of teenagers at the Wayfinder Experience Summer Camp. Explore the transformative power of collective storytelling and the importance of human connection.

We Can Be Heroes: Celebrating the Power of Teenagers’ Imagination

Documentaries like Boys State and Girls State have captivated audiences by exploring what would happen if teenagers were in charge of government. In a similar vein, Carina Mia Wong and Alex Simmons’ documentary, We Can Be Heroes, takes a different approach by asking, ‘What would an alternate world look like if it could be wholly reimagined by teenagers?’ Set at the Wayfinder Experience Summer Camp in upstate New York, this film captures the creativity, energy, and imagination of young participants as they embark on a live-action role-playing adventure. With its focus on the power of teenage imagination, We Can Be Heroes offers a refreshing and hopeful perspective.

We Can Be Heroes: Celebrating the Power of Teenagers' Imagination - 996024752

( Credit to: Hollywoodreporter )

The Wayfinder Experience Summer Camp

We Can Be Heroes takes place at the Wayfinder Experience Summer Camp, a one-week LARP (live-action role-playing) program. The campers spend their time preparing for and participating in a well-structured fantasy campaign, where they become rulers, form alliances, and face various challenges. The documentary introduces us to a diverse group of teenagers who are smart, energetic, and filled with enthusiasm. From 11-year-old Cloud, who excels in swordplay, to Abby, an aspiring storyboard artist, each camper brings their unique talents and aspirations to the camp.

Respecting the Kids

What sets We Can Be Heroes apart is its genuine respect for the young participants. The filmmakers avoid exploiting their subjects for comedic effect or emotional manipulation. Instead, they allow the campers’ authentic experiences to shine through. This approach fosters empathy among viewers, who can relate to the universal struggles and joys of teenage life.

Respecting the Activity

While the campers engage in playful activities such as wielding foam swords and practicing death throes, We Can Be Heroes highlights the deeper meaning and purpose behind their actions. The documentary showcases the meticulous preparation that goes into the campaign, from character-building to prop manufacturing. When the campaign finally begins, the film immerses viewers in the adventure, employing cinematic widescreen visuals and an operatic score by Dan Deacon. By doing so, We Can Be Heroes emphasizes the transformative power of imagination and the importance of collective storytelling.

The Impact of COVID

We Can Be Heroes subtly addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the campers. After enduring years of social isolation and limited socialization, the camp offers them a much-needed connected experience. The documentary demonstrates the true cost of loneliness and highlights the significance of companionship, even in a fantastical setting. Through the lens of a fictional world threatened by a dark void, We Can Be Heroes conveys the message that human connection is the most powerful magic of all.

Conclusion: The Power of Teenage Imagination

We Can Be Heroes is a heartwarming and inspiring documentary that celebrates the boundless imagination of teenagers. By respectfully portraying the experiences of the young participants at the Wayfinder Experience Summer Camp, the film captures the essence of their creativity, quirks, and aspirations. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of human connection, especially in challenging times. We Can Be Heroes reminds us that the power to reshape our world lies within our imagination, and that the ideas and dreams of young people should be cherished and nurtured.

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Written by Reddit Manga

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