‘No Time For Quiet’ is the music documentary we’ve been needing for a long time

‘No Time For Quiet’ is the music documentary we’ve been needing for a long time

Courtney Barnett in 'No Time For Quiet'
Words by Kate Streader


Since forming in Portland in 2001 as a one-day camp, Girls Rock! has been pushing female and gender-fluid young people to pick up an instrument in a bid to disrupt the boy’s club which consumes the music industry.

Making its way to Australia in 2016 and Melbourne the following year, Girls Rock! has since become a global initiative. No Time For Quiet documents the inaugural Girls Rock! Melbourne camp, reinforcing its importance as a means of empowerment and a space for self-expression.

During a week-long program held over the school holidays, young girls and GNC kids are divided into groups which become their bands. From there, they are mentored through the process of learning their instrument and writing a song together before performing the original track at the end of camp showcase.

Following a handful of Girls Rock! Melbourne participants, No Time For Quiet looks at a range of issues facing young people today. Delving into mental health issues, the problems which arise when kids don’t fit neatly into one of society’s rigid ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ gender categories and a range of other contemporary issues our young people face, the documentary looks far beyond the need for inclusivity in music.

Friendships are forged, confidence is built, and many find a safe space in which they can truly be themselves for the first time. Though where No Time For Quiet prospers is in its portrayal of life after Girls Rock! – because a week-long camp must eventually come to an end and while its participants have changed for the better, the world around them remains the same.

Through gut-wrenchingly candid interviews with a small number of campers in which we are privy to the innermost thoughts, fears and dreams of teens and tweens, No Time For Quiet provides a glimpse at today’s chaotic world through fresh eyes.

Directors Hylton Shaw and Samantha Dinning have succeeded in creating an honest and enlightening film which never condescends or belittles, but rather proves that we all have a lot to learn from our young people. No Time For Quiet is a stunning display of vulnerability, strength and adolescence that lingers long after the last chord.

Drifting between almost unbearable unease and inexplicable elation, the documentary clenches its grip on your nerves as if you were enduring your very own first days of camp or debuting your freshly accrued music skills in front of a room full of near strangers.

Not only is No Time For Quiet touching and evocative, it demands its viewers start the conversations which need to be had and pushes for a change in a world filled with disillusionment. Music may be the catalyst, but to be heard and understood is what our young people are desperately reaching for.