You know how the Eurovision Song Contest has expanded over the last few years. For a while it was just the Sunday night telecast in Australia, and now there’s two semi-finals as well? Well, there’s also a Junior Eurovision Song Contest, aimed at under eighteens.
Not on the same scale, obviously, as the major contest, it nonetheless features seventeen entries from different parts of Europe.
This documentary focuses on four or five entries, including my two personal favourites, the young girl from a small, impoverished town in Georgia, and the young boy from Cyprus. For the young girl, it was her circumstance that made me feel so strongly for her, with her mother unable to afford to travel to watch her. And for the young boy, it was his spirit of individuality which captured me.
As I watched the film I sometimes wondered if this was in some ways like those awful childhood beauty contests that you read about in America and concluded, sometimes, maybe it is. In the background of the film you sense there are probably some awful parents, managers, and generally creepy adults behind the kids pushing them. But of the children focussed on in this occasion, all of them seemed personally motivated. They all seemed like they had something to prove to themselves and their peers.
Although the film was, at times, a little clunky, especially as they used “file footage” to illustrate some of the historical background to the notion of Eurovision, it was a film I genuinely loved.
There was a lot of heart and soul in the film.
Yeah. there were times when the whole cinema – The Dendy at Newtown – erupted into laughter at the precociousness of some of the performances, but generally there was a feeling in the cinema of genuine emotional involvement in the journeys of the young kids involved.
I can’t imagine I’d actually want to watch the contest, as I’d imagine it could become rather tedious. More fun to be involved than to watch, I’d imagine. But it, nonetheless, gave me a bit of an insight into something which I knew of only as a peripheral part of my interest in Eurovision.
We were all supposed to dress up, apparently, said the organisers of the screening, part of the QueerDoc series. Grant and I, at least, made an effort with our respective t-shirts. For all of our efforts in attending there were drinks afterwards at the nearby Bank Hotel, where we chatted for a while with a mate, David and his daughter.
Overall, a great way to spend Sunday night.