Director Chip Mabrys documentary portrait of Portlands Rose City Rollers won best in show at both the Crossroads Film Festival and the Indie Spirit Film Festival this year, and the Brutal Beauty film tour has been selling out in theaters across the country. Despite his films success, though, Mabry says tonights screenings will be bittersweet: Denver is where his films epic arc came crashing down. The bout against the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls at the 2009 Womens Flat Track Derby Association Western Regionals ended up being the climax of my film, Mabry says. They broke my heart by beating our girls.
Mabry, best known for his Portland skateboard-scene documentary Rip City, spent eight months as an embedded reporter with the Rose City Rollers, an experience he likens to covering a war on Wonder Womans Amazonian island.
These women own their bodies, their actions, their voices, and every aspect of their sport. Ive been told its the biggest womens movement since suffrage, and its the second-fastest-growing sport in America after mixed martial arts. When I started filming, most of the teams were competing in high school gyms. Now theyre skating in big arenas. These women are so badass, you cant help but get wrapped up in the excitement.
Brutal Beauty screens tonight at Starz FilmCenter at 5:15, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., with Mabry in attendance; additional showings take place tomorrow and Sunday. Starz is in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus; tickets are $7 to $9.75. For more information, go to www.denverfilm.org.
Oct. 29-31, 2010