Rock 'n' roll will never die, so as long as there are people ready to make music no matter their age or gender. This power to excite and inspire is explored in in Portland, Oregon, where 8 to 18 year olds form bands, write music, and play a live gig. Directed by Shane King and Arne Johnson, the film follows the experiences of four campers as they set aside the challenges of growing up to rock out.
Here is the movie's official synopsis:
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." 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 just one week, all the bands perform songs they've written with their new bandmates for over 700 people. "Girls Rock!" follows several campers: Laura, a Korean adoptee obsessed by death metal; Misty, who is emerging from a life of meth addiction and gang activity; Palace, whose heavy metal sneer belies her seven years, 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 revolutionary.More info about the four campers featured in the film is detailed here, while a series of online diaries provides ongoing updates and commentary.
"I don't know if I have ever seen a greater collection of girls in one sitting then I did when I went to see Girls Rock!," writes Monica Bartyzel in a San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, and City Pages, among other publications.
Girls Rock! has screened at numerous fests, making its world premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto last spring, followed by a U.S. premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival. The documentary is now getting ready to kick off its theatrical run, opening on March 7 in seven cities. Rock camps for girls are blossoming, meanwhile, with new schools opening around the country, including one at the Harmony School of Music in Washburn on the south shore of Lake Superior.
The trailer for Girls Rock! follows.
Arne Johnson has published several other videos online from and about Girls Rock!. These include a teaser trailer, an interview with the filmmakers, and a two-minute clip showing a guitar-and-drum-based duo rocking out with lyrics about popcorn and music. There are also two music videos featuring performances by bands from the camp; one features Blubird covering "Bottom of Everything (We Must Sing)" by Bright Eyes, while the other shows the lead singer of King performing its original song "We Will Destroy our Destination."
Several other songs written, played, and recorded by bands featured in Girls Rock! are available for listening on its MySpace page. More information about the documentary, meanwhile, can be found on its Wikipedia page. The