Cornerhouse are going for a younger audience this summer, and the half term offering of Sounds Like Teen Spirit is a good place to begin. This film, or popumentary, may be about something ‘light and fluffy’ like the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, but it was enough to bring an old witch to tears. I think I may have choked a bit over the lovely little girl from Georgia, too. Sorry about any disturbance from the back of the auditorium.
Junior Eurovision is a fairly well kept secret, by the looks of it, and the 2007 version in this film seemed to be primarily for the newer and less known countries of Europe, with a few exceptions. The film crew followed the contestants from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Georgia before their journey to Rotterdam, and then during the contest in Holland.
Very interesting to see how diverse their home backgrounds were, from the Belgian one which was very much like Britain, to the poverty in Georgia. But no matter where they come from, these children can sing. The boy from Cyprus was charming, and his little sister was adorable. One of the Bulgarian girls spoke American English, courtesy of her American school, but she worried mostly about her absent father. The Belgians were the oldest, and less cute, at 15, but very professional, and with a good song. I didn’t quite get what the Basmati rice was for. And then there was the girl from Georgia, whose orthodox priest loves Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, but who had to travel to Rotterdam without her mother, who couldn’t leave her toddler behind. I suspect they had no money, either.
Lovely, lovely documentary.