New Documentary Shines a Light on Women in Punk Via Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Submission Hold
Published Jul 22, 2011A new documentary called From the Back of the Room, featuring a number of notable punk icons from groups like Bikini Kill, Tribe 8, Bratmobile and Kylesa, aims to shine the spotlight on women that have contributed to the DIY scene over the last 30 years. While many of those interviewed for the flick, which is currently screening in the U.S., took part in the influential riot grrrl movement of the '90s, the documentary focuses on much more than just one prolific punk rock period.
"Many people have the impression that the riot grrrl movement in the mid-'90s was the end-all, be-all of female involvement in DIY punk," reads a statement for the film. "This is definitely not the case! Plenty of amazing ladies prior to this era paved the way for it, and plenty of amazing ladies continue to help keep DIY together today."
Many of the issues addressed in the film include "race, gender, sexuality, motherhood, class, and activism," not to mention the idea that the punk scene can also be guilty of the same ills that plague society.
"A lot of people come into the punk scene thinking it's an ideal world where they're not going to come across sexism, homophobia, racism," says former Submission Hold singer Jen Thorpe in the film's trailer, which you can see below. "That's not true; it exists there and it needs to be addressed there as well."
From interviews with Bikini Kill/Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna to crusty Kylesa guitarist Laura Pleasants, the film highlights a number of women who changed the face of independent rock. Regrettably, Canadian screenings have yet to be announced.