GIRLS ROCK CAMP > Girls Rock!: The Movie

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Brothers get out of the way, ‘cause your sisters are rock stars! Don’t believe me? Pop in Girls Rock! and watch it start-to-finish. Directors Arne Johnson and Shane King and animator Liz Canning document the five days of this rock camp designed for girls aged eight to 18 with the honesty and integrity necessary to make it approachable for all ages…and genders.

Label: LIBERATION
[Rating: 3.5 STARS]











Brothers get out of the way, ‘cause your sisters are rock stars! Don’t believe me? Pop in Girls Rock! and watch it start-to-finish. Directors Arne Johnson and Shane King and animator Liz Canning document the five days of this rock camp designed for girls aged eight to 18 with the honesty and integrity necessary to make it approachable for all ages…and genders. So what goes on at a girls’ rock camp? Well, have you ever tried to pick up an instrument you’ve never played and learn how to play it in five days? Or tried to play an instrument with a group of other people who’ve never played their instruments either? How about write lyrics and whole song with these people? Then, perform it for a couple hundred people after working on it for five days? Probably not, and the thought of doing so is enough to give me an ulcer. All the campers do just that with gusto. They pick out bands by genre on the first day and get cranking for a showcase at the end of the week. Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and The Gossip’s Beth Ditto serve on staff at this Portland, Ore., camp as well as dozens of other teachers, counselors and yes, a self-defense instructor who teaches the girls how to say “NO!” and kick ‘em where it counts. The act of songwriting and performing stands as enough to inspire anyone who watches this, but the true story here is unearthed with the testimonies of the girls who undertake the five day process. Some are heartbreaking, others less so, but the importance of issues like empowerment, proper health, individuality, sexuality, self-esteem and self-achievement brilliantly shine through in each one. What this documentary deftly illustrates is how a girls’ rock camp-or any camp focusing on creativity-strengthens and energizes young people for life’s ups and downs. Who would’ve thought death metal could that? There’s no denying it’s a must see.


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