Hey Fangirls! Last week, I noticed that a documentary I’d been dying to watch had finally be added to Netflix. I was filled with joy, and then stuffed with even more once I watched it. The Punk Singer follows the career & passion of Kathleen Hannah, revolutionary punk rocker & feminist.
I had always admired the work of Kathleen Hannah and the women of the Riot Grrrl scene. But this documentary increased that ten fold. The film taught me a lot about Hannah, the scene she was involved in, and all the incredible things that they did & created.
Obviously in the spotlight of the film was Hannah’s original band & cause for her fame, Bikini Kill. Kathleen used the band to not only make great punk rock, but to make statements about feminism, and use it as a platform to band women together. Kathleen Hannah was a leader, and an unexpected voice for people to listen to in the scene. At show, Kathleen took charge, telling all the girls to come to the front, demanding that people behave themselves, and calling out people who were being dicks. Kathleen’s leadership in the band & on stage formed her as a leader of the community as well, especially once Riot Grrrl came along.
Riot Grrrl was a feminist zine that Kathleen and her other awesome buddies began as a place for expression through art & words. Soon, women all over the country began their own Riot Grrrl zines, and I think that’s when the scene & community really formed.
After that, Kathleen began the band Le Tigre, got married, then suddenly left the music scene. Hannah had been developing Lyme disease, and for 5 years struggled with it & it’s treatments. Eventually, Kathleen Hannah returned to the music scene creating the band The Julie Ruin.
The documentary was incredibly well done. Footage & pictures of Kathleen’s career were paired with interviews with her, her friends & bandmates, and people who admired her. It was a fantastic film that I would happily watch over & over again.
I found it tremendously inspiring. So much so, that we now have plans in the works for our own feminist zine, that we hope to get out to the world of Fangirls by the summertime.
Watch this movie, Fangirls. It’s incredibly empowering.
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