DOK LEIPZIG 31 OCTOBER – 6 NOVEMBER 2016
59TH INTERNATIONAL LEIPZIG FESTIVAL FOR DOCUMENTARY AND ANIMATED FILM
DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Cheer Up


Cheer Up


CATALOGUE TEXT
Try to cheer up! That’s what the girls get to hear even when one of their ingeniously constructed pyramids of bodies just collapsed and they lie on the floor, bleeding and injured. Cheerleading is the essence of the kind of motivation coaching that fills whole shelves of self-help books and always drives us to peak performances – since this is exactly what this sport is about. It’s just that the logic of the permanent drive to succeed doesn’t seem to work with the Arctic Circle Spirit Ice Queens in Rovaniemi near the Arctic Circle: they are Finland’s worst cheerleading team. But coach Miia is determined to change this. After a visit to the world’s top team in Dallas, Texas – which looks like brainwashing – she wants to make her flock “number one” by means of a “yes you can” strategy. But the flock have other worries: after the death of her mother Patu must cope with her father’s new partner; Aino is drawn into the wild party life and jeopardises her position in the team. Add first love and moving out from home. And Miia, too, realises that the American credo of “everything is possible” may be seen in a completely different light …

Christy Garland confidently mixes the narrative traditions of the classic sports film with those of the coming-of-age drama while staying close to her protagonists. Falling and getting up again. Sounds easier than it is.

Grit Lemke


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

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The annotation to the Official Selection films were written by the members of the Selection Committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2016 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.