Roller Baby – Movie Review

'A story of love, addiction and rink rash' that covers every conceivable aspect of one of the fastest growing women’s sports, Roller Baby brings a wheely amazing story to the screen…
 
Narrated by one of the stars of whip-smart Roller Derby com-dram Whip It, Juliette Lewis, this documentary tours the game and its culture; from its rich history to an exciting future and from its worldwide growth to some of its uniquely American traits. Here's a trailer… 
 

 
Lewis's narration is used sparingly, leaving skaters and volunteers to tell their own stories. Interviews are mixed with footage from on and off the track with humour injected at regular intervals. A particularly nice touch is the hiding of interviewees’ names until the end, meaning that stars like Suzy Hotrod are treated on a par with junior players, in keeping with derby culture.
 
The most interesting moments though cover the various tensions over the game’s future including professionalism, but the pacing means these subjects are soon passed over. Here lies the film’s weakness as the lack of a central argument or narrative make its intended purpose or audience somewhat ambiguous. While fans new and old alike will enjoy it as a primer on the sport and its people, those after something deeper may find it a little lacking.
 
Review by Jamie Potter
 




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