I'm Wanita

Director Matthew Walker / 2021 / Australia

Meet Australia’s self-crowned “Queen of Honky-Tonk”: renegade country singer Wanita was born ready.

Wanita Bahtiyar grew up on Yorta Yorta country, listening to Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams and dreaming of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. Her first stop on the road to greatness was Australia’s country-music capital, Tamworth. That was 25 years ago; to this day, Wanita’s raucous, retro honky-tonk style remains underappreciated in the country-music scene. Now, she has one last chance to record an album at the genre’s holy sites in Memphis, New Orleans and Nashville. But will Wanita’s demons travel with her?

Expanding on his 2015 short documentary Heart of the Queen, Matthew Walker makes his feature directorial debut with this energetic and empathetic portrait that showcases his subject’s powerful voice and magnetic screen presence. Wanita’s colourful life has encompassed autism, parenting, struggles with alcohol, a tumultuous marriage, sex work and an unrelenting (if unwanted) tendency to burn bridges. Yet she’s a true original with a golden soul, and you’ll watch this film barracking for her to succeed.

I’m Wanita is a combination of country-star biography, international road picture, and an authentic country musical the kind not seen since Robert Altman’s Nashville … A satisfying, carefully cut gem of a film with a heart enough to cover Texas and the songs to match.” – Original Cin

The Music on Film strand is presented by Triple R

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