Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DVD Review: Kathleen Hanna Gives Her Life Story To The Newly Released "Punk Singer"

New from IFC Films comes the documentary, "Punk Singer" about the life and career of Kathleen Hanna. She was one of the leaders of the feminist punk rock movement in the late eighties and early nineties with her band Bikini Kill. Her views of women's power spread like wildfire throughout the music community and this film follows her from the formation of her first band to the tribute concert in her honor over twenty years after. This film also touches upon her illness that brought an abrupt end to her most popular band Le Tigre and almost her entire singing career.

Director Sini Anderson does a masterful job mixing in home videos and film clips from Hanna's past live performances along with recent interviews with fellow bandmates. Anderson also interviews other female rock icons Joan Jett and Kim Gordon on how much Kathleen Hanna and her music made an impact on how women were viewed in music. Kathleen proudly talks about how her band Bikini Kill befriended Nirvana before the rise of grunge music and her impact with the feminist magazine Riot Grrl.

One of the most shocking things about Kathleen's story is when her illness affected her life and her music. Also her husband, Beastie Boys Adam Horowitz gives input into her personal life and how their relationship flourished and how he has helped Kathleen get back into music with her latest band The Julie Ruin.

The film premiered at 2013's SXSW festival and still has showings in theaters around the U.S. The film won the "Women in Cinema Lena Sharpe Award" for director Sini Anderson and was also nominated for the "Best Documentary" at Chlotrudis Awards. "The Punk Singer" was recently released on DVD on March 25th. To find out more, please visit

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