Girls Rock! Arne Johnson & Shane King

Girls Rock! Arne Johnson & Shane King
Tucked in the American northwest is a rock’n’roll camp devoted to girls. From ages eight to 18, they come to scream like Cobain or riff like Hendrix, taught by real life rock chicks like Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein. A week later, they kick ass onstage and walk out of the school doors empowered, having learned lessons in confidence, as well as anger management.

Films like these (called "process docs,” in industry speak) rely on the charm, depth and presence of their characters. And this is where the film wins: Laura is an exuberant Korean adoptee obsessed with death metal; Misty is climbing out of meth addiction, homelessness and gang activity; while little Amelia is an eight-year-old who writes experimental rock songs about her dog, Pipi. Ironically, the film was made by two guys, providing much needed distance from their subjects.

This is a fun documentary, one that speaks to females especially. There is no brilliant psychological revelation, nor does it aim for one. It is, however, a sight to behold an eight-year-old screaming into a microphone with rock star attitude and resembling a pint-size Courtney Love. Also, you can’t help but root for Laura, whose energy is infectious.

Girls Rock! is definitely a film for anyone who loves rock’n’roll. Smells like kid spirit. (Shadow)