Eight years in the making, Bobbi Jo Hart‘s latest documentary, I Am Not a Rock Star , follows classical pianist Marika Bournaki from age 12 to 20. The film explores the challenges not only to Marika’s life, but the effect that her career has had on her family. From the highs of performing in some of the most famous halls in the world, to the lows of dealing with intense schedules and Marika’s own self confidence, I Am Not a Rock Star showcases incredible performances and a moving portrait of life as a classical musician.

A documentary on the life of a young artist is typically full of sadness, although it’s always under the surface. The sacrifices they must make to achieve a higher level in their craft are immense. Marika’s life is no different. The film begins when she’s 12-years-old, and her life is drastically different from a typical youth. She spends 33 Saturdays a year traveling from her home in Montreal to The Julliard School in New York. Her summers aren’t spent playing with friends, instead, she’s practicing piano and performing at places like Carnegie Hall. At that time, everything has a magical quality to it, and Marika has dreams of a life as a concert pianist.

Usually the story would end there, leaving viewers wondering if so many sacrifices are worth it in the end. I Am Not a Rock Star gives an answer to our question, and shows everybody that although the sacrifices are great, the end result can be extremely fulfilling. Marika’s journey is a constant struggle. By the time she turns 16, and begins to live in New York, she seems to be questioning her motivations for playing piano. As a starry eyed youth, dreams of playing as a concert pianist were enough to push her. Years of training, and doubts about her ability, leave her grasping for that same level of motivation.

As the film nears the end, Marika is now 20. She’s found her place in the world, and the true joy of playing piano. She spends time working with children, sparking her joy in the world of music once more. Various performances from Marika over the years play throughout the film, and she is a stunning talent. It’s fascinating to watch her come full circle, beginning with unbridled enthusiasm, then almost succumbing to her own doubt before finding her passion again.

Is I Am Not a Rock Star Opening Weekend Worthy?

Absolutely. Having its Toronto Premiere at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on November 16, 2012, I Am Not a Rock Star is a very touching film. The level of dedication from Marika is enough to inspire everybody. As an added bonus, Marika will be performing on stage at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema after the screening on Friday, November 16, 2012. There really couldn’t be a better reason to see this film on opening night, as Marika is incredibly talented, and her performance should be very moving.

I Am Not a Rock Star screens from Friday, November 16, 2012 until Friday, November 23, 2012 at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Check here for more info.

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