Pretty in Punk

“Kurt was the only person who stuck up for me,” says musician Kathleen Hanna in The Punk Singer, a new documentary about her life and art. The Kurt in question is Kurt Cobain, a friend of the artist and an advocate for both feminism and Hanna’s work — which often entailed her speaking out against the punk scene in which she’d come up. Regularly misrepresented — and often not acknowledged at all — in punk history, Hanna’s continuing legacy as a poet, singer, zine-maker and feminist leader is finally given accurate weight and deserved attention in this film, which traces her life through her work in barrier-breaking bands like Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and the Julie Ruin.

Commentary from such friends and collaborators as Joan Jett, Carrie Brownstein, Tobi Vail and Tavi Gevinson contextualize Hanna’s place and influence in popular culture, and deeply personal conversations with the artist herself help to tell the story. Rare footage of early Bikini Kill shows and Hanna’s spoken-word performances augment The Punk Singer in a way that is sure to engage die-hard riot grrrls and newcomers alike.

The Punk Singer opens today beginning with a 4:40 p.m. showing at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax in Denver. Tickets are $7 to $10 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 303-595-3456, or online at
Thu., Dec. 26, 2013

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