Review: Game Girls

Game Girls

GAME GIRLS (Alina Skrzeszewska) follows Teri Rogers, a woman on a mission for a better life. With a non-judgmental camera lens and a frank portrayal of life on Skid Row, GAME GIRLS shows dreams, dissolution and desire. 

It opens a window in to the systemic problem of life on the streets – this is where these people, Teri and her fiancé Tiahna Vince, have learned their lifestyle, trades, behaviours. A fly on the wall style appraisal follows as she contemplates her relationship, her life, her goals. Teri wants more, but everyone around her seems to think it could never happen.

It’s a demonstration of the yearning we all feel for a better life – to leave behind one set of problems for another, as Teri puts it; her particular situation of being a black, poor, mentally ill American woman in downtown Los Angeles does come with it’s particular set of historical constraints, touched on throughout the portrayal of her personal experience. 

The microcosm of her finance’s therapy sessions, expressing deeply personal stories, flow out in to the macro scenes of the doc showing life on the streets and real time observation of interactions between black, poor, American people. The personal becomes the collective – the stories don’t necessarily blend but they hold up together a greater narrative of the communal issues within this society. 

Skid Row seems like a harsh place – there are constraints that seem impossible to get out of. Teri’s vigilant rigour to go by the system is a sometimes painfully frustrating watch – the city workers couldn’t be nicer, but they can’t help her. She’s not poor enough, or sick enough, or homeless enough. It’s an endless cycle of qualification and bureaucracy, a country’s attempt to handle the problem and the people on the front lines dealing with it.

There’s rays of hope due to Terri’s tenacity – she goes through all the tribulations of normal adult life such as marrying, finding a place to live, and her perseverance is so admirable. When she puts a fresh paint of coat on her home and looks out to the street, it’s as beautiful a sunset you’ll ever see complete with abandoned shopping trolleys and all. 

In the end, it’s not clean cut. It’s messy escaping from previous problems, a previous life. The passion to succeed wills out and runs deep in within all of us – Teri is trying, and sometimes succeeding; in her eyes that beats not t

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Lauren Turner is an Australian media specialist and keen cinephile. She loves Robert Eggers and can be found at her local offbeat cinema in Melbourne.


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