Sounds Like Teen Spirit
Sounds Like Teen Spirit - emer breen
I hadn't a clue what to expect with this film, I went along without having heard anything whatsoever about it - a risky decision, I know…..Had I known that the film was to trace the talents and traumas of performing kids and as they win through their regional heats and then aim to do their countries proud at the biggest musical youth event of the year - the "mini" Eurovision Song Contest, believe me I'd have run a mile but this film was infinitely more appealing and entertaining than the dismal event itself. Without a doubt, the kids dominate this film. The highs and lows of four contestants at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest are affectionately captured in this comic feature documentary. They are expected to compose their own songs, and perform in their national language. What makes these charming characters so appealing is their refreshing openness and enthusiasm as they pursue their dreams. They are all fuelled by their own ambition, none of them feel pressure from parents or peers It's a heart warming, endearing, cynicism free celebration of the value and pleasure of participation rather than victory. The overall mood is one of remarkable positivity and affectionately portrays both the thrills of victory and agonies of defeat. We find ourselves drawn into the lives of the four aspiring kids from all over the world who eventually convene in Rotterdam to compete in the junior version Eurovision song contest. The performers include: Bulgaria's Marina - who is very cynical about love and relationships as her father walked out on her mother; Giorgos from Cyprus, whose passion for music and dance has led to him being bullied at school for being a sissy more interested in singing than football (he's my favourite - absolutely hilarious); Georgia's Mariam - who hopes her singing will lead to a better life for her family who live in the crumbling city of Gori; and four Belgian teenagers (Mirek, Laurens, Matthieu and Eva) from the band "Trust", whose musical ambitions for Eurovision are exceeded by their desires to chase girls or find a cute boy. The endearing cast of cute kids and quirky teenagers make for an unorthodox but charming "popumentary". The joys are not so much in watching the climatic finale in Rotterdam but in learning about the various participants.The film has some genuinely moving and affectionate moments, such as Giorgos's sister Eliana's relationship with her brother, Marina speaking about her parents' divorce and her hope that her father will be watching and see that he should come home or various Georgians expressing their support for Mariam. As well as the charming participants, the movie is at times extremely funny - a real crowd pleaser. And the sound track is energetic and lively too, especially at the end when Abba's "The Winner Takes It All" pumps out while the voting is announced. This is a delightful, sincere, utterly enjoyable and often hilarious documentary, undoubtedly one of my favourite films so far this year - I've already made a note to watch the Junior Eurovision 2009!
Review published on the 12 May 2009 16:06
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