Unemployment woes of Gen Y documented in film of five lives

by | Dec 2, 2016 | A&E

Daniela Gitto
Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Everyone’s heard the campfire horror stories that keep children awake at night, hiding their plastic baseball bat under their beds, just in case.
As time passed, those scary stories were replaced with new, realistic tales that can give any millennial goosebumps.
This story is only one sentence; the unemployment rate for millennials after graduating college or university. The difference is, this scary story is true, and S’mores will not be of comfort.
The documentary called My Millenial Life, directed and produced by Maureen Judge focuses on the lives of five 20-somethings fighting today’s economy in the pursuit of their dream career.
Judge, who also previously taught at Humber, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker known for producing, writing, and directing Living Dolls, Mom’s Home, and many other films.
The documentary, which came out in May, publicizes the unfortunate circumstances millennials face with employment through the eyes of five subjects.
Each story features love (or lack thereof), meandering careers, independence, reliance, and financial instability.
“I wanted people’s lives, including their love, because the situation of underemployment affects all aspects,” Judge said.
Judge said she chose to make this documentary because she is the mother of two millennials and believes people need to see more than just statistics about their lives.
A study done in 2015 by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded that 44 per cent of recent college graduates are underemployed and working dead end jobs.
“As boomers, we tell them to get educated and your life will unfold in a great way, but there weren’t the jobs we said there would be,” Judge said.
Although each subject in the film endured stressful situations, whether rejection from their dream job or financial struggles, they always persevered.
One of the subjects, Hope, is defined by her name. After graduating from Temple University, she had five internships, but was confined to her telemarketing job.
Her story features love, moving out, parental disapproval and big city dreams.
“I wanted to help people because I knew I wasn’t the only one in this situation,” Hope said. “I found it a way to get my story out there so other people could relate to it.”
In each unique story, the various circumstances can compel viewers to sympathize and relate, which Judge hopes will trigger viewers to discuss this topic.
“I want people to know they shouldn’t give up because there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Hope said.
Hope is newly married and working as an editor-in-chief at Renderocity magazine, an online digital arts publication, and freelance writing on the side.
My Millennial Life also features an online interactive series which allows users to narrow in on each different subject and read into specific aspects about their lives. The series also features two additional subjects, one being an indigenous teacher who lost her job and the other being a homosexual bartender trying to find a job in advertising.
“A lot of the stuff out there isn’t true (and) these people aren’t lazy,” Judge said. “I wanted to show that we have a motivated, talented group of young people who keep hitting their head against the wall but that doesn’t stop them.”