By the time the whole Riot grrrl thing was breaking, I was already well on my way to old-fogey hood and although I sort of knew what was going on and what they stood for, I really didn't listen to the music or know the main players involved. My loss, and this is the perfect movie to explain what happened and high-light this remarkable woman and what she accomplished.
It's also really well made, with intelligent interviews and analysis and NOT a sense of a slapped together "Biography" type show OR a lurid "Behind The Music." It's got politics, sociology, romance, a bit of Kurt Cobain, and a nearly House-like medical mystery. Yes, someone really does suggest lupus, and no, it's NOT lupus.
The biggest surprise is that Adam Horowitz of the Beastie Boys turns out to be a total sweetheart. It reminds me of the way Charles Bronson comes across in Jill Ireland's books about her illness and the various other personal tragedies that she went through. I mean there's no reason a tough-guy actor or a Beastie Boy wouldn't be a wonderful person, it's just not necessarily something you immediately expect.
I honestly went in knowing nothing (and trying to convince hubby we should go to the documentary about Divine which was playing at the same time) and ended up with a girl-crush, a desire to go man some barricades and of course the need to get some Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and her solo music IMMEDIATELY.
I still want to see I Am Divine, but it will have a long way to go to be as good as The Punk Singer.
I love a good music documentary and this is one of the best I've seen in awhile. Probably the best since Searching for Sugar Man, which also reveals a mystery that you think MIGHT be a tragedy, but isn't.
In fact, if you haven't seen that one, go get it on Netflix. It will make your heart soar!
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