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Girls Rock!
Girls Rock
Actors: Carrie Brownstein, Beth Ditto
Director: Shane King;Arne Johnson
Genres: Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
PG     2009     1hr 29min

The Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls is a place where 8-18 year olds from all over the country come to jam --forming bands, writing songs and building community. What they learn through music extends far beyond song, however. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Carrie Brownstein, Beth Ditto
Director: Shane King;Arne Johnson
Genres: Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Family Films, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Studio: Liberation Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Girls Rock! Description
Arne Johnson | San Francisco | 01/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ok, full disclosure here, I'm one of the directors of the film. So, this isn't really a review, but it seemed there wasn't a lot of information about the movie above, so I thought I'd include some here (from the Hot Docs Film Festival Catalog):

At Rock 'n' Roll Camp, girls ranging in age from eight to 18 are taught that it's OK to sweat like a pig, scream like a banshee, wail on their instruments with complete and utter abandon, and that "it is 100% okay to be exactly who you are." The girls have a week to select a band, an instrument they may have never played before, and write a song. In between, they are taught by indie rock chicks such as Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney various lessons of empowerment from self-defense to anger management. At the end of the week, all the bands perform a concert for over 700 people. The film follows several campers: Laura, a Korean adoptee obsessed by death metal; Misty, who is emerging from a life of meth addiction, homelessness and gang activity; and Amelia, an eight-year-old who writes experimental rock songs about her dog Pipi. What happens to the girls as they are given a temporary reprieve from being sexualized, analyzed and pressured to conform is truly moving and revolutionary."
Empowering Girls Through Music
Valerie J. Saturen | Tacoma, WA | 03/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Self-esteem doesn't come easy to many adolescent girls in a society bombarded with mixed messages, sexual imagery, eating disorders and narrow standards of beauty, and a bias against female assertiveness. Girls Rock! is a moving documentary about the efforts of a group of women rockers fighting the self-esteem gap through the Rock & Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, OR. Established by some of the women instrumental to the riot grrrl movement--a feminist branch of punk--of the 1990s, such as Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, the camp teaches girls aged 8-18 music and self-defense. In just one week, the girls form bands, learn an instrument (often picking it up for the first time), and write a song. At the end, each band performs before an audience of hundreds, providing an unforgettable experience. Backed with statistics illustrating the trials girls face as they grow up--including sexual assault, anorexia, and biases in education--the film follows four girls as they struggle to find their voices and learn to rock.

Laura, 15, is an adopted Korean with an outgoing personality, articulate views, and an obsession with death metal. Although she seems self-assured, making friends easily, she later reveals that she struggles with her self-image. Misty, a 17-year-old attending the camp through a program with the group home where she lives, copes with a broken family life and a troubled past of gang activity and drugs. Never having seen a bass guitar in her life, she picks up the instrument and becomes a valuable part of her hip hop band. The 8-year-old Amelia writes experimental songs about her dog Pipi. She's a girl on her own wavelength and has to work toward blending her original creative visions with her bandmates. Palace, who's 7, loves to perform but has trouble getting along with others. Her mother, who owns a clothing store, worries that her young daughter is already starting to absorb society's obsession with looks.

Part of the camp's magic is not only its impact on the girls' confidence, but also its role in creating an environment where the girls work together and support each other. As one of the staff members says in an emotional interview, young women are often their own worst enemies, taking out their sense of powerlessness on each other through bullying and teasing. The camp teaches them to empower themselves and each other, and the result is inspiring."