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By Eric Campos | January 23, 2006

People laughed at “”Cop Rock”” and people are bound to laugh at “”Songbirds.”” But, if they could just get over that first bizarre hill where it becomes all too apparent that, yes, these women in prison are actually singing and dancing original pop songs, then audiences will be in for a unique experience featuring some of the rawest musical numbers you’re bound to see for a good long while.

Filmmaker Brian Hill spent time with and interviewed several women at Downview Prison, a British lockdown for femme criminals. He then took his interviews to songwriter Simon Armitage and composer Simon Boswell for them to fashion original pop songs out of their tales of woe. Like woe! The women are then asked to perform their specific song in a music video type clip that’s intercut with their original interview footage. The result is…fuckin’ interesting for sure.

What’s even more interesting is that these women really aren’t half bad at singing. In fact, some of them are pretty damn good! So, once you get over the initial uneasiness of watching these incarcerated women singing into the camera, you’re in for something completely different. And that’s a good thing. Even if this movie doesn’t sound like it would be your cup of tea, you should check it out anyway…just because.

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