Australian Council on Children and the Media

Raise Your Voice

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Short takes

PG to 13 (Mature themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Raise Your Voice
  • a review of Raise Your Voice completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 January 2005.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 There are some scenes in this movie that could disturb younger children; they will probably also find much of the move boring due to its themes.
Children over the age of 13 Young teens will probably enjoy this movie, and should be ok to see it with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Raise Your Voice
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes
Length 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Terri Fletcher is 16 years old and longs to be a singer but her over-protective father Simon forbids her attending summer school in Los Angeles. Older brother Paul dotes on his sister and believes she is very talented and so submits a DVD of her singing to Bristol Hill Conservatorium, one of the most prestigious music schools in the country. When Paul argues with his father trying to persuade him to allow Terri to go, he gets grounded. However Terri has bought tickets for them both to a rock concert that night and so decide to sneak out of the house, breaking their father’s rules. On the way home a drunk driver runs a red light and ploughs into their car killing Paul and leaving Terri hospitalised. This of course devastates the family. As it happens Paul’s video of Terri gains her entrance into Bristol Hill but Terri no longer wants to go. Terri’s mother believes her daughter should go and so devises a plan with Aunt Nina to deceive Simon and get her into music school.

Terri has difficulty fitting into the school, as most of the students are only there to concentrate on their music and on winning the final prize of an academic scholarship worth $10,000. Terri manages to befriend Jay an English boy who’s attracted to her and they team up to write and compose. Things get a bit complicated on more than one occasion when Simon decides to see how Terri’s getting on but Nina manages to handle the situations quite well until Terri’s cover is finally blown. Simon is naturally very angry to learn he’s been so deceived and drives to LA to bring his daughter home on the night of the final concert. Terri decides to follow her brother’s advice and confronts her Father.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The only violence in this movie is when Terri and Jay have a fight which ends in Terri pushing Jay over.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There is some material that would scare children in this age group:

  • Terri and Paul are sitting in the car when another car crashes into them
  • Terri wakes up in hospital with tubes in her nose and attached to machinery
  • Paul dies as a result of the crash – everyone is very distressed
  • A funeral is held for Paul
  • Their mother weeps while sorting out Paul’s clothes

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group could also be scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over the age of eight and into their teens could still be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern.

Product placement

The ‘Pepsi’ product was displayed or used in this movie.

Sexual references

There is one sexual reference early in the movie when a boy at school obviously likes Terri and her friend talks about him getting her pregnant.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity, but a very passionate kissing scene between two of the music students.

Use of substances

There is some drinking of alcohol:

  • Aunt Nina drinks at home
  • Jay gets drunk after arguing with Terri. He wakes up with a hangover.

Coarse language

There is a little coarse language:

  • Frequent use of ‘Oh my God’
  • Occasional use of ‘crap’, ‘friggin’ and ‘jackass’

In a nutshell

The take home message is that it’s okay to disobey your parents if their wishes oppose your own.

Values parents may wish to encourage include persistence in the face of adversity.

The following content could be used by parents to discuss with their children what their own family’s values are, and what the real life consequences can be of disobeying, deceiving and lying to your parents. Parents could also discuss when and how it might be okay to stand up to their parents.

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