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Go beyond the screams as Jessica Leski’s fun and empathetic documentary explores why we hold pop music dear to our hearts.

Film buffs idolise their favourite directors. Grown men create fantasy sports teams and cry during grand finals. So why are boyband fans so often mocked and dismissed as just silly, screaming teenage girls?

Melbourne director Jessica Leski’s upbeat, intelligent documentary explores the complex emotions of passionate pop-music appreciation. Combining interviews with archival material, animation and home movies, the film follows women from four generations who fanatically follow The Beatles, the Backstreet Boys, Take That and One Direction. For them, it was never just a phase; their love of these boys and their music provides lifelong joy, self-expression and world-spanning friendships with fellow fans.

I Used to Be Normal is also an insightful look at how the culture around us shapes our interior world. Weaving in perspectives from music theory and criticism, Leski suggests that whatever we choose to love, it’s never thoughtless or superficial, but powerfully significant to our lives.