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The Punk Singer

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. In so doing she became both one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons and a cultural lightning rod. While her critics wished she would just shut up, her fans hoped she never would. So when in 2005 Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna and those who were part of the scene, including music legends Joan Jett and Adam Horowitz, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.

Review

This is a woman who has been through hell and come out kicking, and the result is as much a celebration as it is a documentary. --Tom Huddleston, Time Out

"Offers revelations alongside an invigorating recap of Hanna's influential career. --John Defore, Hollywood Reporter

Product Details

  • Actors: Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon
  • Directors: Sini Anderson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GS0927I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,896 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was dragged to the Mall in DC to see Fugazi and "some lame chicks rights band" back in the day. I was an unaware young man just going for a free show and walked away with with a seed planted in my head. Bikini Kill opened my mind to a wave of bands and ideas that has taken the years since then to really sink in. Kathleen is such an amazing person and artist, this film goes beyond all the BS and gives a slight peak at the person behind the art. I am sure I could go on but there are reviews here that spill it out better than I can, in parting buy this movie!
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'Bikini Kill' was just one of those really great bands fronted by the talented Kathleen Hanna. Showing so much of the band in concert, along with Hanna talking freely, I really enjoyed this documentary as I haven't heard much about her in such a long time. Now Sini Anderson gives us this musical look, along with her additional camera work, into this Punk Rock band with a message as clear as crystal. The feminist wave of female rockers was understood differently by different people, although Hanna defines being a feminist right here: "Feminism is standing up to any and all oppression for anyone". This "Rebel Girl", Kathleen Hanna, was a beam of well needed light into the darkest issues concerning women. 'Bikini Kill' revamped concerts with an open invite for all the girls to get to the front of the audience. This was to keep them away from the violent nature of concerts as she was seeing them at the time. With songs about abuse, rape, violence, sexism and objectifying women, Kathleen Hanna punched out her feelings with lyrical fists.

Not only did she have her own band, she also co-found the 'Riot Grrrl' revolution. These were bands with so much to say, and also, they were produced by rocker Joan Jett. Strong, angry, decisive, and thematic with a commanding presence, the Riot Grrrl's movement took the Punk scene with its own fury. Kathleen had made some very influential friends in Kurt Cobain and also the band 'Sonic Youth', among many others during her time in both ventures.

Before 'Bikini Kill' eventually broke up, Kathleen helped to make fanzines which explained their reasoning for feelings that they each had. This was done to go into 'Riot Grrrl' with a "Manifesto", which they named it.
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Format: Amazon Video
One of the hidden benefits to attending all (or most...smile...) of the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival press screenings, is that I see films I would otherwise avoid. This documentary from the US is one of them.

Director Sini Anderson has accumulated press clips, performance footage, interviews and music industry know-how to create a story that took a 90° turn about two-thirds of the way in. We start with footage that introduces us to Kathleen Hanna, a frustrated girl who just wanted to be heard.

A clever advisor told her the best way was through music, not stories. The upshot was, she and some chums formed Bikini Kill, a punk rock group that enjoyed unexpected success, partly because she insisted the females in the audience be granted priority and treated with respect. As a part of the burgeoning music scene in the Pacific Northwest, she became friends with Joan Jett of The Runaways, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney.

We watch this girl (who helped originate the Riot Grrrl movement of the 90s) grow into an intelligent woman of great beauty. As her stature changes, she becomes disenchanted with the way the press keeps trying to create dissension among female performers and finds herself extremely weary of touring.

Now the 90° turn. She is eventually diagnosed with Lyme Disease and we watch her struggles, bolstered by her wonderful husband Adam Horovitz of the Beasty Boys.

I have never been a fan of punk rock, but this story is wonderful. Kudos to the cinematographers, Jennie Jeddry and Moira Morel. There are a couple of setups that were notable for their beauty and acute eye for color. The rating will probably be a PG-13 because our gal is articulate, well-behaved and doesn't have the potty mouth I would have expected.

I hope Amazon soon will offer the DVD for sale instead of just this method.
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By Dawn Ishii on December 31, 2013
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I had forgotten how much she did for the music scene - especially for women. I was introduced to the punk scene several years after the riot girl movement had already been around and so much was already different thanks to bands like Bikini Kill. Also as someone who is battling chronic Lyme disease myself, I really appreciate her talking about and even showing her disease on film. More people need to know about this awful disease that is becomming an epidemic. I appreciate Kathleen Hanna bringing attention to the disease, showing her struggles and realiy to the audience.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the better documentaries I have seen lately. I was familiar with Kathleen Hanna through Bikini Kill and I knew she was married to Adrock from the Beastie Boys, and for some reason I remember hearing that she got sucker punched by Courtney Love, but I was really not aware of the extent of her work with feminist groups. If she ever gave up singing, I think she would be a good public speaker promoting her causes, and do I dare mention this, perhaps become a female answer to Henry Rollins.
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