Synopsis by Michael Hastings
Filmmaker Larry Clark reunites with Kids screenwriter Harmony Korine, with some additional directorial assistance from cinematographer Ed Lachman, for this look at a group of troubled teens and their guardians living in Southern California. The film opens at a skate park, where a troubled character takes his own life; it then proceeds to chronicle the somewhat-interrelated lives of his classmates. The audience is introduced to Tate (James Ransome), a young man living in relative misery with his board-game-playing grandparents. Also tormented by his living situation is Claude (Stephen Jasso), a quiet, shy teen constantly henpecked by his brutish father (Wade Andrew Williams). Meanwhile, the vapid Shawn (James Bullard) occasionally trades verbal spars with his mother, in between leaving the house for sex sessions with his girlfriend's mom. Finally there is Peaches (Tiffany Limos), living alone with her devoutly religious father as she covertly experiments with her boyfriend (Mike Apaletegui). Though Ken Park played at such festivals as Toronto and Telluride in the fall of 2002, it would languish on the shelf for months and months afterward, as its explicit content made finding a U.S. distributor near-impossible.