If nothing else, Generation Lost has one attribute that most music DVDs lack: an interesting hook. Sure, it has the usual stuff—music videos, making-of-the-video featurettes, and live-performance footage—but a mini-documentary called How We Survive deviates from the norm by focusing on the fans of Chicago punk band Rise Against. Director-producer Davy Rothbart (of Found magazine fame) followed Rise Against during part of Warped Tour '06, then occasionally stayed behind to interview fans at their homes. There's Markus, a 17-year-old African-American kid whose skin color alone makes him stand out at Warped Tour. There's Bill, a 47-year-old family man and right-wing Republican (especially curious, considering Rise Against's outspoken left-wing views). There's Phil, a teenager who works as a camp counselor.
The film really only delves into Markus' life, mostly because it parallels that of bassist Joe Principe. (Both lost their fathers early in life.) Although it's funny that Bill loves Rise Against and (presumably) George Bush, no one asks him how he resolves the two. Phil seems like a typical teenage Rise Against fan, with less of a story than the others. It's an interesting idea, but the fan stories are basically shoehorned into the usual tour-bus footage and band interviews. Even with the high points—like shots of lead singer Tim McIlrath playing with his daughter—How We Survive remains pretty typical. The same goes for the rest of the DVD.