In every corner of the world, at any given moment, random people post personal video clips online. They are their virtual messages in a bottle, tossed into the boundless sea that is the Internet. Most of these posts flounder in a sad limbo of indifference and anonymity-unless your YouTube handle happens to be Princess Shaw. Samantha Montgomery, 38, lives alone in one of New Orleans' toughest neighborhoods. By day she works as a caregiver for the elderly; at night she transforms into Princess Shaw, belting out soulful originals at sparsely attended open mic nights and posting homemade a cappella clips on YouTube, usually reaching just a handful of viewers. One of her followers happens to be Kutiman, a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician living on a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv, who mashes up YouTube videos from all over the world to create new musical pieces. Princess Shaw has no idea that he has found hers. A rousing documentary crowd-pleaser about a star-crossed singer-songwriter and ...Written by
Unlikely Hero Jump-Starts a Struggling Singer's Career
Documentary. Samantha Montgomery, who looks to be in her late 20s/early 30s, lives in ghetto New Orleans. She has and has had a tough, even punishing life; works a low-level nursing-home job; lives alone; and has, let's face it, not much in the way of prospects. She wants to be a star, and she pours her life into her songs and singing anywhere, including at some of the noisiest smoke- blue open-mike dives and dumps imaginable, but mostly to an unseen crowd of followers on YouTube. What happens next can't be mentioned but more important is the heart and courage of the Princess herself. Despite little encouragement save the obligatory kind reflexively offered by Mom and friends, she works hard at her art, remaining consistently and insistently optimistic and open-hearted. And generous, too: doesn't resent her mother's past neglect, is kind and encouraging even to those who want that open- mike chance as much as she does. Stick with this. It's a tad slow in the beginning and the nightclub scenes are ear-pummeling and chaotic; they show you what Princess has to survive.
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