Mary Simpson and Fionn Meade, Northwest artists currently residing in New York, have collaborated on several films in recent years. Young Americans is one of their latest works, filmed primarily at the Home of the Good Shepherd, originally a residential institution for "orphaned and wayward girls" that was built in Seattle in 1907.
Alternating between pensive shots within the empty building, and frenetic but cryptic passages in which a group re-enacts archaic games, the film maintains a provocative mystery through its fragmentation. Narrative clarity is withheld from the viewer but also from the actors as internal struggles for control of the rules and storylines mirror contemporary society’s increasingly fractured interpretation of daily events. Young Americans finds a poetic visual analog to this condition, suggesting that consequently we may all be, in a sense, orphaned and wayward.