Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Once Aurora paints a picture of an industry of men intent on using the young Norwegian artist AURORA as a tool to further their own ambitions more than to nurture her own creative independence.

Orginal title: En gang Aurora)
Producer: Flimmer Film
Country: Norway, 2018. 52min

It took some time before the Me Too movement took its hold in the music industry, in contrast to the wave of high-profile allegations of sexual misconduct in the movie business. But now, as a result of social media, scandals around figures such as R Kelly and Ryan Adams have brought the spotlight on how systemic abuses of power so easily thrive amid the culture of celebrity entitlement, professional favours, and access to fans.

Once Aurora, by directors Benjamin Langeland and Stian Servoss, follows Norwegian indie pop sensation Aurora as she prepares her second studio album, Infections Of A Different Kind – Step 1 (2018). So far this might sound like any music documentary, but the way in which the creative process is presented here is an altogether fresh and soberly condemning indictment of the distribution of influence and how it is wielded within the industry. Gentle and rather tame, the documentary (which originally aired on television) is without doubt not a story of overt abuse. But in the subtle yet clearly debilitating workings of misogyny and the on-going demand for more money-making hits from this young star, barely out of adolescence, we see just how vulnerable to manipulation young female musicians are in an industry of normalised capitalistic exploitation.

Once Aurora. Directors: Benjamin Langeland, Stian Servoss

No tragic sensationalism

Having grown up in the woods in a Norwegian small town, Aurora Aksnes (born in 1996) was only sixteen years old when she attracted the public eye after performing a song she’d written at her high school that . . .

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