Pianist Marika Bournaki plays along with some of her youngest fans.
I AM NOT A ROCK STAR (Bobbi Jo Hart). 85 minutes. Opens Friday (November 16) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. For Times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
Ever wonder what happens to classical music prodigies as they get older? Bobbi Jo Hart's I Am Not A Rock Star provides one fascinating example. The doc follows Montreal-born pianist Marika Bournaki from the age of 12 through 20, complete with scenes of adolescent angst, young love and petulant meltdowns.
Bournaki began playing at five, encouraged by her parents, both aspiring artists (he was a violinist, she was a ballet dancer) who never fulfilled their dreams. Talented, attractive and bilingual, Bournaki's given plum opportunities, from studying at the Juilliard School's pre-college program to performing at a particularly fun concert/media op on Glenn Gould's original piano.
Early on, however, it's clear she has some confidence issues, and as the years pass, as in time-lapse photography, the cracks in her family life widen. Things bottom out during a trip to London, where she's set to audition for booking agents at Wigmore Hall and explodes to her well-meaning father about sleep, her hotel and her entire career.
Since Bournaki's playing after Friday night's screening and engages in Q&As with director Hart opening weekend, you know the film has a happy ending.
But watching her come to a renewed appreciation of her art is still inspiring, as is the moment when you discover she's speaking from the heart and not just repeating things she's been coached to say since childhood.