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Sounds Like Teen Spirit


Stars: Marina Baltadzi, Yiorgos Ioannides, Mariam Romelashvili, Laurens Platteeuw, Eva Storme, Bob Buelens, Mirek Coutigny, Matthieu Renier

Director: Jamie J Johnson

A charming, vibrant and slightly frightening documentary about the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, in which kids from 17 countries, all presumably with showbiz ambitions, compete.

Concentrating on the entries from Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia and Cyprus - the competition is dominated by countries from the former Soviet bloc - debut feature director Johnson follows the kids into their home lives, plus the hours of rehearsal required. They are all, of course, incredibly precocious, and the youngsters from Bulgaria (a girl) and Cyprus (a boy) speak amazingly good English.

Perhaps the most lovable, though, is Mariam from Georgia, who has subsequently been forced to flee her home after the Russian invasion: what a contrast to the glitz and glamour of the contest.

By and large, the kids are open, honest and articulate, with solid background work on the four main protagonists. As kiddie documentaries go, this one is near the top of the class.

David Quinlan

UK 2009. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers (Warner Music) . Colour by deluxe.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 03 May 2009