Documentary Profiles Mamas Who Rock

This piece was first published on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh

Jackie Weissman’s documentary film, “Rock N Roll Mamas” premiered the same week that Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” was published.

It was interesting timing. While Sandberg’s book sparked debate across the nation about working mothers in white-collar settings, Weissman’s film highlighted the very different challenges of struggling female indie musicians trying to raise families.

“Rock N Roll Mamas,” which was screened March 7 at the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, follows three women of different ages, backgrounds and family situations. They are all trying to make their livings as rock musicians, and they all pay a price for staying true to their art while raising children. But it seems as though they may not perceive the costs of their decisions as well as the film’s viewers do.

Weissman started working on “Rock N Roll Mamas,” her fifth film, in 2003. A New York-native with an Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia College in Chicago who was living Portland, she became interested in the lives of indie musician moms after reading an article on the topic. “I saw a real similarity between them and me, as I was a freelance filmmaker and a new mom at the time. It resonated for me — all the juggling and hard work and the low pay.”

Click here to read more and watch the trailer.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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