Movie Review

The Punk Singer – Movie Review

The Punk Singer – Review by Frank L.

Director: Sini Anderson
Stars: Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon…

Kathleen Hanna was born in 1968, and is a feminist and a punk singer! In this fast moving documentary the viewer is whirled into the raucous energy of her bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Her energy is constant and intimidating. Her bravura is proclaimed as she moves, without any sense of self-consciousness with the letters “S”,”L”,”U”,”T” written in rough block capitals across her exposed navel. So called nice girls would not do that then, most so called nice girls would not do that now. The term “slut” is a disparaging term used by men or women to describe a woman who enjoys sex with more than one partner. In fact, there is no similar term to describe a man, perhaps gigolo but that has all sorts of other connotations involving a man being kept; if there was such a term it is unlikely to be disparaging as society judges female promiscuity far more harshly than male promiscuity.

Anderson in this her debut documentary, reminds the viewer that Kathleen Hanna identified along with a few others the barriers which women faced in the nineties and the early years of the noughties. The contemporary footage has the power to shock which is a compliment to Hanna and to Anderson’s skill in using the footage.

Not so successful are the recent interviews with her contemporaries which are too laudatory as to be almost reverential. This may be understandable given that Hanna has been infected since 2005 by the debilitating Lyme’s disease, a cruel fate for anyone but particularly for someone of her iconoclastic energy.

I was amazed that the documentary is 80 minutes in duration and I left with my head buzzing with an extraordinary cocktail of raucous live performances shouting out its own exuberance, the pride of a woman asserting her right to be heard no matter and all now somewhat diluted by the nastiness of Lyme’s disease whose vector is a tick which is indiscriminate in its attacks against male and female.

Official Website is here.

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