Doc/Fest 2019 Film Review: Once Aurora

Aurora has had the type of meteoric rise to fame and success that every aspiring singer dreams of. And she’s not happy. At 16 a video of her performing in front of her school friends went viral. She leaped at the chance to quit school and take advantage of the offers that flooded in, so that by the age of 20 she’d been on tour for 3 years. The film very skilfully constructs a portrait of both a very talented but very vulnerable young girl, who struggles with her own success and whether or not it really is what she wants. At one point in the film she falls off the stage she’s so exhausted. And to add to the pressure, when she’s not on tour, there’s the need to record her second album. At one point, even though we can see the effect that playing live shows has on her, she actually says she likes the nomadic life of touring as she doesn’t have to face up to the things that scare her, which is a worrying admission from someone so young. This very intimate portrait makes the viewer question whether she’s chosen this life or whether others have chosen it for her. 

Directed, shot and edited by Stian Servoss and Benjamin Langeland

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