Directors: Hylton Shaw, Samantha Dinning
Featuring: LA Bastard, Courtney Barnett, Cable Ties, Sukhjit Khalsa, Girls Rock! camp participants
I wondered why the audience seemed so excited for this movie when I was in the audience, it turned out that most of the participants of the Girls Rock! Camp over the past few years were in attendance along with their parents and the counsellors from the camp.
The film makers had heard of the Girls Rock! Camp for young teenage girls wanting to get into music was coming to Melbourne and manage to convince the people running it to film the first intake. They had done a pre-screening of the applicants to choose a couple of them and found a few others on the day as there were 50 people involved and it would have been too much to follow them all.
I am a big fan of music and in particular women musicians the point that I get made fun of for going to see them all the time. Fuck off! I like them more as they don’t have half the bullshit the men have with their bands and do not feel the need to live the infamous Rock and Roll lifestyle. A lot of them get better after they have kids as they have more experience. I have been seeing some musicians for so long now their kids have started their own bands.
Back to the documentary and they did choose some unique individuals such as Zeiro (pronounced Zero) who has their own thing going on and is gender fluid. The concept is described for people who do not know what it is by Zeiro. That is a lot to put on a teenager and it is handled well.
Some strong themes are handled such as mental illness and suicide and they don’t shy away from discussing it.
The drummer got a big cheer by saying Alien was “that feminist movie” and Sigourney Weaver would agree with her.
During the Q&A Jacinta Parsons revealed that one of the participants in the documentary was her daughter, which bought cheers from the audience especially when she had to interview her.
There were some performances by Courtney Barnett, LA Bastard (I missed that gig it was their last one) and Cable Ties. The camp was structured around all the participants forming bands, writing a song and doing a showcase gig at the end of the week.
I did enjoy the animation throughout the documentary that showed some things that couldn’t really be filmed such as the voices one of the participants had in their head. Also Zeiro’s fears were illustrated about the plane crashing into the venue and everyone dying.
There was a strong positive vibe at the screening due to the participants being in the audience and cheering when they saw themselves on screen. I believe it should be shown in schools for young people wanting to express themselves in music.
After the screening there was a live performance downstairs with a supergroup named BARK with the five main participants from the movie who had written a song “No Time for Quiet” and rehearsed over the past month.
The film had been produced over three years and the film makers have come to know the participants very well and have become quite close. Two the people in the documentary are now volunteers at Girls Rock! And one is working as a sound tech in the music industry and playing in bands.
Photos from the screening Q&A/Afterparty