Possessing the talent of a prodigy can be both a blessing and a curse. At an age when most people are fumbling through adolescence, gifted young musician Marika Bournaki was already embarking on a prestigious career as a concert pianist. But was this wunderkind truly born to perform?
This intimate portrait follows Bournaki from age 12 to 20, documenting the growing pains experienced in these critical years, and the pressures heaped on her by a life of practice, performance and touring. Throughout, her father-turned-manager, a Juilliard-trained violinist himself, is devoted to encouraging her efforts and nurturing the international music career he was never able to achieve. When, at 16, Bournaki leaves her parents’ home in Montreal to study at Juilliard, she comes into her own as a musician, rebels against the course plotted out for her since the age of five, and experiences an intense period of self-discovery and growth.
Director Bobbi Jo Hart provides a rare and candid look inside the insular world of classical music, uncovering the elusive alchemy of talent, determination, sacrifice and luck required to make it to the top. We witness Bournaki mature from child prodigy to vivacious adult before our eyes, watch her incredible musical talent evolve, and feel the bittersweet sacrifice one family makes over time to help her become a star.
Filmed over eight years, this documentary follows the gritty coming-of-age story of Julliard pianist, Marika Bournaki – from age 12 until age 20 – whose life has centered around becoming a world class concert pianist since age five.
Screening: Wilma 1, Wednesday February 20 @ 5:00 pm
Filmed over eight years by director Bobbi Jo Hart, I AM NOT A ROCK STAR follows the dramatic coming of age story of classical phenom Marika Bournaki from age 12 to 20. Hart’s film amounts to a front row seat in the unfolding of a life and the forming of a personality. Shot in verite style in concert halls, hotels and airports around the world—and featuring stunning piano performances – the film turns Bournaki’s life into a visual narrative, revealing both the rewards and costs of a life dedicated to music excellence.