An aspiring concert pianist is followed from ages 12-20 in the cheekily titled Canuck docu “I Am Not a Rock Star,” from helmer Bobbi Jo Hart. The early going, in occasionally smudgy HD lensing, feels quite generic as the young, Montreal-born Marika Bournaki preps for concerts and frets about missed notes. But things become increasingly involving when bilingual Bournaki leaves for New York and blossoms into an independent-minded woman and artist, a development that ushers in some entertaining diva antics. Docu buyers and programmers have a low-threshold item here that will appeal even to auds not interested in classical music.Besides Bournaki’s coming into her own artistically and personally, a process not without its fair share of very relatable hiccups, the narrative also derives tension from the loving but complex relationship between the girl and her father-cum-supporter and manager, Pierre, a former violinist who dreams of giving his daughter the international career he never had. An idea of the amount of work and willpower needed to reach the top emerges organically, while the sacrifices, including Bournaki’s parents’ divorce, are not overlooked. Tech credits are passable, music choices solid.
An Adobe Prods. Intl. production, in association with Documentary Channel, Knowledge Network, Ichannel. Produced by Robbie Hart. Directed, written by Bobbi Jo Hart.
Camera (color/B&W, HD), Bobbi Jo Hart, Robbie Hart; editor, Howard Goldberg; music, Marika Bournaki, Jack Johnson, Daniel Toussaint. Reviewed at Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (Portraits: Human Journeys), March 15, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.
Marika Bournaki, Pierre Bournaki. (French, English dialogue)