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Girls Rock!

Girls Rock!

Director:Arne Johnson And Shane King
Release Date:2008
Genre:Documentary, Music

By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/23/2008

This is the sort of thing you just can't dis on without going to cynic hell. Girls Rock! is a documentary covering a five-day session at Portland, Ore.'s Rock Camp for Girls, a summer camp of sorts where a boggling array of young women learn how to be "rock stars." It's as sweet as you can imagine, and then some, without being hokey. You wind up caring about these kids in a way that belies the documentary's reality-television pretensions. Misty is a 17-year-old ex-drug addict/gang member/[insert parental nightmare here]; Amelia is an 8-year-old obsessed with Sonic Youth who writes songs about her Chihuahua; 8-year-old Palace helps take care of her younger brother with Down syndrome and writes a pissed-off song about her mom's business trips with a chorus that goes, "San Francisco sucks sometimes." The camp counselors, including star power Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and the Gossip's Beth Ditto, are just as awesome. At times Girls Rock! feels a bit like a commercial for the camp, the whiteness of everything is a little unnerving, and the feminist rehash is just that, but its heart is way too big to dwell on such shortcomings.

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