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Sounds Like Teen Spirit falls into the category of documentary: a broad genre of films that address real-life events. They come in many different forms and cover a huge variety of subjects. You may have seen documentary films on television, in the cinema or even in the classroom – can you think of any examples?

If you've never seen a documentary before, or if you have, think about which of the following terms might describe a documentary. Give reasons for your choice.

  • Deals with historical events
  • Shows real people in real situations
  • Filmed 'live' at a variety of locations
  • Captures people and events in a 'natural' style

Stephen Woolley, the film's producer, says: "The strength of Sounds Like Teen Spirit is that it delivers all the pleasures that you would expect for a major commercial feature film... In fact, it is probably a documentary for people who don't like documentaries!" How far would you agree with this summary of the film?

mid-shot of a ten year old boy on the far right of the image intently singing into a microphone, dramatically back-lit