Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

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“[Burma’s first girl band] attempts to push past gender and ethnic prejudices in this poppy, insider view of the nascent awakening of a closed society.” — Basil Tsiokos, Indiewire

Director: Juliet Lamont
Year: 2012
Country: Australia
Running time: 75 mins

Producer: Jessica Douglas-Henry
Photography: Tom Jefferson, Juliet Lamont
Editor: Rochelle Oshlack
Sound: Juliet Lamont
Music: Benjamin Speed
In English and Burmese, with English subtitles

With: Wai Hnin, Kimmy, Ah Moon, Htike Htike, Cha Cha, Nikki May

Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2012; Sydney 2013

As Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest and the country prepares for its first free election, Miss Nikki, an Australian living in Yangon with her businessman boyfriend, Chris, has been making her own contribution to democracy in Myanmar: she is well on the way to making stars of Burma’s first girl band. Cutting across paternalistic disapproval and defying local definitions of what constitutes a pretty young woman, or even a pretty voice, Miss Nikki has pulled together an eager band of five hopefuls. But the band members are not the only ones learning their way in the shark-infested waters of a brand new pop culture. Hovering somewhere between documentary, reality TV and promotional video, Juliet Lamont’s film feeds on the energy of new-found freedoms while admitting the confusion and vulnerability that dawn when the restrictions come off and suddenly nobody’s telling a girl what to do. 

“Engaging and entertaining… the film is at its best when delving into their home lives and hopes for the future.” — Mark Adams, Screendaily