Content warning: suicide, depression
The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) just wrapped up last week, and we’re proud as punch to say that one of the standout flicks was filmed in our very own backyard. No Time For Quiet, directed by Samantha Dinning and Hylton Shaw, follows a group of aspiring muso’s as they participate in Girls Rock!, a week-long music camp for female-identifying and gender diverse teens in Melbourne’s very own Brunswick.
The rockstar hopefuls form bands, write a song and perform it at the end of camp showcase. Against a backdrop of familiar sights such as Brunswick’s iconic Sydney Road and the sounds of thrumming bass and shredding guitars, the doco confronts some pressing issues facing young people today.
A recurrent theme that emerges through the unfailingly candid interviews with campers is mental health. The campers don’t hold back, offering intimate, and much needed insight into their experiences with depression, psychosis, anxiety and even suicide. No Time For Quiet brings these issues to the forefront, encouraging the urgent discussions around youth mental health, and also gender and identity, that we need to have.
As we dive deeper into the stories of these amazing young people, it becomes clear just how important Girls Rock! is.
The camp provides a safe space for these teens not only to speak, but to shout and scream about their struggles. It’s a place where vulnerability is encouraged, a place where fear and anxiety are met with empathy over judgement, a place where pronouns are respected. The battles of these young women and gender diverse teens are put into lyrics and set to riffs and rhythms, amplified for all to be heard. These young people wear their hearts on their sleeves, and I dare you not to feel moved by their vulnerability and strength.
And the cameras don’t stop rolling after the final chord. We catch up with the camp’s participants 18 months down the road. The world may not have changed – they’re still struggling with mental health and navigating questions of identity and gender. But, you get the sense that, having had the chance to project their voices on the stage, these teens are ready to stand up and speak out.
And it’s time for all of us to listen.
No Time for Quiet is hitting regional cities over the next month! Get all the details about the next screening near you via Facebook and Instagram. Content warning: Please note that the film contains suicide themes.
If you think you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues you should talk about it to an adult you trust. If you don’t want to tell someone you know about it try going to your GP, local community health centre or finding your nearest headspace centre. You can also call beyond blue or get online counselling at eheadspace. (These services are all confidential).
If you or someone you know is considering self harm or suicide, you can call Lifeline for help and support.
Sarah is a sociology graduate and freelance writing living in Melbourne. She is fascinated by issues of gender, sexuality and psychology. She can often be found reading, listening to music and watching Broad City.