Cutting Edge – Boys Alone (2002)


boys alone (6)Yesterday while I was wondering what film shall I watch I stumbled upon a documentary which was in my collection for a while – yet I have not seen it.  The name of that documentary is ” Cutting edge – Boys Alone ” – and it is based on a social experiment which consisted of letting nine boys aged 10 and 11 to spend 5 days alone in a house – with no rules or adult supervision .  It is not hard to see where the producers got the idea – William Golding`s novel :  ” Lord of the flies ” and the so popular reality show nowadays are the two things that come to mind.

boys alone The production quality of the documentary are average as the crew was visible at times and the editing could have been done a bit better. However I envision that the movie would be of interest to people with interest to the social sphere of psychology – even if it only confirms the well known saying ” Boys will be boys ” .  It is rather interesting observing the different personalities of the youngster and how they influence their behavior and attitude to towards the other participants in the experiment. I myself immediately started wondering with whom I could associate best – and in my case I think that George will be most similar to me as he was rather introvert – but not completely .

boys alone (9)At the end – as one could probably expect the boys split in groups and almost all equipment and toys in the house were broken. To summarize ” Cutting edge – Boys alone ” is a good documentary – but I doubt that anyone could learn a new and surprising thing from it about the human nature. Watching the film based on the Golding`s novel would probably be more enjoyful and useful experience for you .

If you manage to see the documentary – don`t hesitate to leave me a comment with your own impressions from it.



  1. I remember this programme very well, too. I recorded the whole series onto VHS, as it was at least two years before I got my first DVD player. I’ve been searching online to try and watch this again, as I cannot see my video copy, but to no avail.

    I even tried YouTube, but it is not on there.

    If anyone does have a copy on either DVD or VHS, that they don’t mind putting online, on YouTube or any other video sharing site, then I will be SO SO greatful! It would be nice to see this again.

  2. I watched this documentary when it first aired and I remember being quite disturbed by it. 2002 was an innocent age before we’d all began doubt the reality of ‘reality’ TV.  I’ve been trying t find a copy of this documentary to use with Lord of the Flies but all I can find is the later ‘Boys and Girls Alone’. It is such a great video for conveying the inevitable chaos that ensues when a group who have experienced nothing but externally constructed order are put in a situation when they need to construct order for themselves.
    I have always wondered how kids from different cultures would fair in the same situation.

    please- please- if any one knows where to get an internet copy of this documentary, please let me know…. thanks

  3. I thought it was a quite good documentary when I saw it. I would agree that if the boys knew they were being filmed it would be hard for them to be natural and “do their own thing” so to speak. There was also a programme about girls in a house alone and this showed how much less destructive then boys they are.

  4. I would not be surprised . I mean – I would highly doubt that a group of 10 -11 years old would be that much into destroying things . If they were younger it is a possibility – but rather as an accidental thing than on purpose.

    • The producers did tell us that we had free reign and not to hold back on anything, I am Michael from the programme it was a truly good experience although the editing portrayed us all to be bad all the time when infact they cut out times when we bonded, worked together and even tidied up! Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. When this was first shown in the UK there were some comments on the web by someone living near the house used. He said that the destruction was not spontaneous, but actually instigated by the producers. I'm not sure how much truth there is to it.

  6. Yep, i do agree with you that the kids might act different when they know they're being filmed. I dont know what happend in your documentary but in the one i told you about (which is a 4-part docu) almost all of the boys cried and wanted to go home to their mums while the girls where the “cool ones” who didnt cry. That part is especially interesting since i have always believed its the other way around. At least i didnt expect the boys to cry when they're being filmed.

    I hope you can find this docu because it would be very interesting to hear your comments about the differences(if there are any) in the one i watched and the one you watched.

  7. Thanks for commenting btnspl. I would try to find the other documentaries you mentioned. At the same time despite the ” Boys Alone ” is supposedly ” a real ” documentary – I wonder if it could be considered such as after all the participants in the social experiment knew all the time that they are being filmed – therefore its quite possible that they would have behaved in a different manner otherwise…don`t you think ?

  8. This seems like a interesting documentary. I can recommend you a similar docu called “Boys AND girls alone” where we can see the difference between boys and girls on how they are handling things. It reminds me a bit of the US tvseries called “Kid Nation” even if this one feels more real and not as made up as “Kid Nation”

  9. While it's probably nothing special in the way of how it's presented, as you said, as one adamant about child psychology and specifically that of younger males, this movie seems like something I would definitely be inclined to watch.

  10. I usually like to watch documentaries, and this one looks worth watching, at least I like the psychology behind it, since group dynamics are really complex and interesting. I guess that a film like “Lord of the flies” is much better photographed and acted because it´s probably harder to get a high quality doing a documentary like this. On the other hand you get the real thing and it´s probably the reason for why many people like to watch reality shows.

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