In a scant 79 minutes, All This Panic sure covers a lot of ground. Over three years ago, director Jenny Gage and her cinematographer husband, Tom Betterton, got to know two of their neighbors in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn, teenage sisters Ginger and Dusty. Intrigued by the young pair, the couple eventually became acquainted with the girls’ small group of friends.
The resulting documentary casts a wide net to capture the bustling lives of seven teenage girls as they navigate the highs and lows of growing up in a major city. The decision to focus on myriad subjects rather than solely home in on the sisters works in the film’s favor: they each evolve in wildly different ways over the course of the film, serving to highlight the sheer scope of how impactful this period of growth is for all youth. […] As far as backgrounds go, the subjects don’t share much in common; what unites them is the mix of excitement and fear they have for what lies ahead.
Gage’s remarkably intimate portrait of female youth on the verge leaves you with a largely hopeful feeling that this particular group of women will make good on that advice.
Nigel M. Smith, The Guardian