Girls State


Every summer the American Legion hosts a week-long experience that allows high school students to construct and run their own governments. These sessions take place across the country, and each state is responsible for the selection of students through a rigorous application and interview process. Featuring a compelling array of young women from different backgrounds, Girls State charts their participation in Missouri’s 2022 Girls State. As the film begins, each one describes what she hopes to gain from the experience. We then watch the week take shape from a stunning variety of angles and intersections. Goals and expectations do not always match results and achievements. Unlikely friendships are formed. Elections are won and lost. Viewpoints are expanded. Rhetoric is sharpened, and character, tested. A striking companion to their 2020 film Boys State, which focused on young men in Texas, Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’s film considers the role gender, and access to opportunity, plays in the structure of American political systems. ST

Filmmaker Q&A following screening


Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss


Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss


Amy Foote


Daniel Carter, Laura Hudock, Laela Kilbourn, Keri Oberly, Erynn Patrick Lamont, Martina Radwan, Thorsten Thielow

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

96 minutes