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Review: From the Back of the Room

Amy Oden's documentary about sexism in the punk rock community
By LIZ PELLY  |  December 6, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

Chronicling the past 30 years of women in DIY punk, Amy Oden's documentary deconstructs the myth that punk is an ideal world free of gender prejudices. In it, female musicians, bookers, and 'zinesters around the country speak of first-hand experiences with the punk patriarchy and the misogyny, stereotyping, and apathy in their scenes. Interviews with subjects including members of Tribe 8, Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and photographer Cynthia Connolly are juxtaposed with black-and-white photos of slam-dancing punks and grainy footage of badass ladies screaming their heads off at hyper-masculine shows in gritty underground spaces. Oden unravels the illusion that the '90s riot-grrrl movement was a be-all-end-all moment for women in punk without discrediting its definitive, unmatched impact. She provides an essential voice on not just femme-punk's lineage but rock history in general with unprecedented research and an uncompromising argument.

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  Topics: Reviews , Preview, new, 90s,  More more >
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