Revolution Girl Style Now!

by Laurie Henzel

Today Girl’s Rock, The Movie opens in theaters. The trailer made me tear up a bit, how cute are these kids? I’m definitely going to take my girls to see it this weekend. Below is the review that ran in the current issue of BUST.

Girls Rock!
Directed by Shane King and Arne Johnson
(Girls Rock Productions)
    Tearjerker and rockumentary are two genres that don’t generally go hand in hand. But you’ll need a hanky and your Joan Jett lighter when watching Girls Rock!, a documentary chronicling one session of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, OR. Weaving interviews with campers and counselors together with insightful feminist factoids and an amazing femme-rock score, the film paints an inspiring portrait of how camp uses musicianship to help girls bond, build self-esteem, and rock out.
    Audiences get an insider’s view of the camp experience by following four girls through the trials and joys of becoming rock ‘n’ rollers. Laura, a 15-year-old adopted Korean girl from Oklahoma, is musically talented and friendly but has cripplingly low self-esteem. Palace, the eight-year-old daughter of a boutique owner, comes to camp eager to rock but is preoccupied with her appearance and doesn’t know how to compromise. “Weird girl” Amelia, also eight, has a passion for noise rock, yet lacks communication skills. And 17-year-old Misty comes to camp from a group home and has a hard time letting people past her tough-girl image.
The filmmakers didn’t shy away from turning their lens on the campers’ lonely moments of girlhood: lingering on how they long to fit in and be accepted, and how self-doubt and cliquishness threaten to stifle both their social and musical progress. But inspired by their counselors, the girls eventually shed their inhibitions, dive into their instruments, and find their voices. These superstar counselors (including Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Beth Ditto of Gossip) relate throughout the film how they use music to help campers counteract the social pressures to be quiet and docile, and it obviously works; when you see these formerly awkward girls make their debuts in a concert for more than 600 people, you’ll want to throw the devil horns and cry. [errin donahue]

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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