"I was really surprised actually and have been upset by it," Burstein said of the level of pushback American Teen has generated. "There's accusations that it's staged and scripted and that I went after the stereotypes, and it's just not true. "I think it's unusual to have a very narrative documentary, so people aren't used to it," she continued. I think people have a hard time believing teenagers are willing to be that intimate on camera. So sometimes I feel I'm being criticized for what the film's achievements are." Burstein also believes she's being targeted for wanting to make a documentary film with broad appeal, which runs counter to the image many have of docs as dry, wonky films driven by policy and ideology.