“I don’t run away from nothing, I run to it,” says Gemma, the quietly resilient teenager at the center of “Scheme Birds.”
Few would blame her for doing the reverse, having been abandoned in infanthood by her parents in the harsh projects of Motherwell, a deprived, lusterless Scottish town a few miles outside Glasgow.
It’s a home that does little to reward her loyalty, yet at the outset, at least, there’s nowhere Gemma would rather be. Admitting that she expects to spend her whole life in this deprived corner of Motherwell, she then breaks sunnily with glum kitchen-sink tradition by saying she hopes never to leave.
That will change, as will many aspects of her life, by the end of Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin’s superb documentary, an alternately lyrical and gut-punching coming-of-age study in which girls like Gemma become women — and wounded women at that — altogether too soon.
“Scheme Birds,” recently won the top prize in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Read the story at Variety.
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