REVIEW: The Punk Singer is a Candy-Colored Tribute to Rock’s Most Uncompromising Heroine
by Jesse Knight
Kathleen Hanna began her reign in the early ‘90s as the lead singer of pioneering feminist punk band Bikini Kill. The songs are grimy lo-fi anthems, the lyrics of which confront issues of sexual abuse and female empowerment in unflinching detail. Hanna, as shown repeatedly in the film’s seemingly bottomless well of archival concert footage, is the ideal frontwoman.
What singularizes Sini Anderson’s film is how it examines the life of a legend who is still very much active. The film ends at the dawning of somewhat of a rebirth for Hanna, now in her mid-40s, as she triumphantly returns to the stage with her new band The Julie Ruin, who just this past September released their debut album. The performance immediately follows a tribute concert to Hanna in New York City to an audience oblivious to the at once mysterious physical ailments the iconic punk heroine had been unwittingly facing for years.
Click here to read Jesse’s very positive review.