“You’ll Know My Name”
Looking at Youth
How many times have we heard that the youth of today are the future of tomorrow? It seems that this is the motto of public education for we are to prepare the youth for taking over the world. In the case of “You’ll Know My Name”, we do not want to think that any of these guys would ever rise to a leadership position. The film is about coming-of-age and taking responsibility but no one in the film does. We meet Nick, a senior in high school, who wants to have a name in South Jersey—an area populated by gangs and thugs and students and nonstudents who have no idea of what they will do in the future and do not care about it anyway. They live with no aims and no direction and each day seems the same. We meet the young characters on the night before a violent confrontation is to take place. What is so terrible is that no one sees the consequences of their do nothing attitude and the violence they live by. The film is something of a modern day Western who comes to be a commentary of the lost generation whose lives are rotting right along with the American dream.
This is a first film for director Joe Raffa and it is a sad look at a world where excitement is the only thing that matters and it says a great deal about the youth of this country who are ignored, either by their own doing or by society choosing to do so.