"That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood—I've got news for you, SHE IS!" Bikini Kill, of course, opens this fun documentary on the fifth year of Portland's Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. Filmmakers Arne Johnson and Shane King have an agenda—Girls Rock! could do without the animated montages of Britney Spears usurping guitar-wielding goddesses like Kim Gordon and PJ Harvey—but camp counselors, including Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) and Beth Ditto (the Gossip), are anything but angry or strident as they mentor the girls (ages 7–18). The doc mainly follows Laura, a Korean-American death-metal fan from Oklahoma; Misty, who's just come from a group home; Amelia, a hellion on the guitar; and Palace, an uncannily self-possessed (and preternaturally stylish) vocalist. "San Francisco sucks sometimes/Go to hell on the Golden Gate Bridge!" she screams about going on a business trip with her mom. By the time each girl's band reaches the showcase (for a crowd of 700), you can see them developing their individual grooves. "I've been waiting so long to finally admit to myself that I'm amazing," says Laura, "and I really am."
Guitar hellion Amelia.
Runs at SIFF Cinema, Fri., March 7–Thurs., March. 20. Not rated. 90 minutes.