Girls Rock!

Directors Arne Johnson and Shane King visit the Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls, a week-long boyless Oregon garrison at which trade secrets of “do-it-yourself girl power” are bequeathed to young ladies aged 8 to 18, and deliver exactly the documentary you’d expect from its title. Forgetting for a moment that there is perhaps no better conservator of stunted adolescence than rock ’n’ roll, the camp—and the movie—ambitiously intend to seed a whole generation of empowered women. Sure, it curries feminist favor and makes you watch an hour and a half of really amateur band practice. But watch, too, how naturally those bands discover the sort of openness, creative potential and charisma that women (and men) three times their age try so hard to affect. A backgrounder on the camp’s history and relentless statistical evidence of girls’ cultural disadvantages are made palatable by snappy animation, wry stock-footage mash-ups and collage captions resembling what Sex Pistols record sleeves would look like if they’d been designed by Barbara Kruger instead of Jamie Reid.

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