I am Wanita – a honky-tonk story of life lived on the edge
I AM WANITA
Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Wanita, Australia’s self-proclaimed Queen of Honky Tonk, may not be as famous as Kasey Chambers, but her fans are obsessed, lining the steps of her Tamworth home, “Honkytonkville”, with flowers when the award-winning documentary director Matthew Walker i am wanita released in theaters last year. On stage, she exudes the free spirit and extreme generosity that characterize her in her hometown, sometimes to her detriment. His story, told in the film that follows his maiden voyage to Nashville at the age of 46, edited for broadcast on ABC, is more interesting than that of a road to stardom. It is an inspiring story of a life lived on the edge.
“I never had false aspirations that I would all of a sudden make it big or make a big comeback. I’m not a f—wit,” Wanita says with trademark candor. “J could have gone to America at any time. I was distracted. This movie was shot during the most vulnerable years of my life, when I was trying to get out of the calling I hated. Good luck to the sex workers, but I hated this job.
It was through sex work (which she has since quit) that the journey to record an album was funded. Fulfilling a dream she’s harbored since she was a Loretta Lynn-adoring child, Wanita packed up her cowboy boots and guitar, fellow musicians Gleny Rae Virus and Archer the Old Time Singsong Man, and, leaving behind her a complicated family life with her beloved Turkish husband. Baba (since deceased suddenly), hit the United States. Influenced by The Beatles: Come BackWalker intended to simply observe whatever was to unfold.
“Wanita believed in herself so much, but she said no one understood her,” Walker says. “So I said, ‘Well, I’ll listen and see if I can figure out who you are. Many elements of the story fascinated me.
A more raw and suspenseful journey that he could not have scripted. There are times when the goal seems out of reach, so enthusiastically does Wanita embrace the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. She also donates valuable funds to the homeless in San Francisco. His spontaneous performances for the down and out include some of the film’s most emotional moments.