Sophie B. Hawkins: The Cream Will Rise

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

This cinema verite-style documentary pushes the limits of confessional cinema as it delves into the psyche of acclaimed singer Sophie B. Hawkins. Featuring home demos of new tunes and intense super-8 footage of live performances, this film is both the chronicle of Hawkins's 1996 Moxy Tour and a journey to the performer's troubled past. Based on the premise...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This cinema verite-style documentary pushes the limits of confessional cinema as it delves into the psyche of acclaimed singer Sophie B. Hawkins. Featuring home demos of new tunes and intense super-8 footage of live performances, this film is both the chronicle of Hawkins's 1996 Moxy Tour and a journey to the performer's troubled past. Based on the premise that one must expose an artist's demons in order to understand his/her work, this risky venture explores Hawkins's love-hate relationship with her mother, Joan. While her brother Nicholas remains a neutral observer, Hawkins and her substance-abusing mother thrash out warring perceptions of Sophie's childhood. In between performances, Hawkins reads from her tour diary or comments on her childhood. Does she suffer from recovered memory syndrome or was her childhood really a nightmare of sexual abuse? Piecing together the reasons for her rebellious behavior, Hawkins concludes she was molested by both her own father and the fathers of her school friends. It could be argued that this in-your-face record of personal trauma violates the subject's trust or that it gives fans more information than they need. But in the end the tell-all psychodrama doesn't reveal as much about Hawkins's art as does the footage of her singing. Valuable as an introduction to a musician who has resisted becoming a mass-market commodity, this ultra-personal examination suffers from director Gigi Gaston's inability to shape the wealth of material into a coherent narrative.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This cinema verite-style documentary pushes the limits of confessional cinema as it delves into the psyche of acclaimed singer Sophie B. Hawkins. Featuring home demos of new tunes and intense super-8 footage of live performances, this film is both the chro… (more)

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