But she is not always emotionally equipped for the challenges. She has not been prepared for criticism and it is hard for her to live up to her own standards. As she learns and matures, Marika starts to question whether the lifestyle is right for her. She insists that she is not a rock star and many elements of performance trouble her. She knows how she is supposed to feel (I love to share my gift with people...) but, other than loving music, she is not sure what should come next in her life. By the end of the film, still a very young adult, Marika is prospering but also finding her own path. She works to make music more fun and accessible and she particularly enjoys sharing it with children.
Her gifts take a toll on her family, which includes a father who didn't make it as a concert violinist, a mother who wasn't allowed to pursue a career in dance and two siblings who end up feeling overshadowed. It does bring into question our cult of genius, which insists that certain talents must be nurtured whatever the cost. This film is intimate in its portrayal of the fiery Marika but never exploitative. Director Bobbi Jo Hart is sensitive to the fact that she is part of a young girl's life but she also delivers a rousing and entertaining film.
There is one final showing, on Oct 3 at 10:30 am at the Granville Theatre. Make it if you can, as the previously screenings included surprise piano performances by the subject of the film.