In the '90s, the explosive riot grrrl movement rolled in, banging on doors of the music industry and inspiring woman all across the globe. As this past summer marked the 20th anniversary of events that brought the feminist crusade to life, many of the original riot grrrls -- now in their 30s and 40s -- are paying tribute through books and films, while younger girls are discovering the scene for the first time.
From her earlier days as a zine creator to being the frontwoman of punk band Bikini Kill, there is no doubt that Kathleen Hanna is the godmother of riot grrrl and a feminist cultural icon. But unfortunately, she's also been a lightning rod for controversy, and five years ago she disappeared from the public eye. As Hanna begins to reemerge with a more open mind about sharing her stories, she has agreed to collaborate with filmmaker and Sister Spit founder Sini Anderson on a biographical documentary titled The Punk Singer.
The documentary combines 20 years of archival footage and an intimate look at four consecutive seasons of Hanna's present life, to tell the story of what happened and who she is now. But it's not just going to be Kathleen in a room talking about herself. Several noteworthy female musicians, including Joan Jett, Kai Wilson (the Butchies), Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre), Kathi Wilcox (Bikini Kill), and Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), signed onto the project to give unique insight into their experiences with Hanna, as well as who she is as a person outside of the riot grrrl umbrella. According to Anderson, "Kathleen has opened up in this documentary in a way that she never had the opportunity or the desire to before this, and she has an incredible fucking story."
The filming portion is complete; however, the postproduction and editing process is going to cost the independent filmmaker a pretty penny. So in the hopes of getting this project finished, Sini Anderson has created a Kickstarter account to raise $44,000 in 30 days with the deadline being October 27. As of now -- after only three days of being active -- $22,000 has been pledged, and the count continues to grow by the hour. Is this a sign of positive things to come? Will Sini Anderson beat the clock and get this film finished?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Watch a five-minute clip of the film The Punk Singer: The Documentary About Kathleen Hanna below, and visit the kickstarter page for more information.