The Punk Singer

The Punk Singer Brief Information

The Punk Singer is a 2013 documentary film directed by filmmaker Sini Anderson and produced by Anderson and Tamra Davis. The film is about feminist singer Kathleen Hanna who fronted the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and who was a central figure in the riot grrrl movement. Using a combination of interviews and archival footage including live band performances, the film traces the life and career of Hanna from her troubled upbringing and her start in spoken word performance poetry, through her riot grrrl zines, her prominent punk and dance-punk bands, her coining of the phrase "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for Kurt Cobain, her solo career as Julie Ruin, her feminist activism, her marriage to Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, and ending with Hanna's 2010 diagnosis of late-stage Lyme disease and the severe treatments she endures to combat it.

Anderson filmed Hanna off and on for a year starting in July 2010. Hanna had already amassed a collection of archival footage and ephemera; these and further finds were worked into the documentary. Horovitz appears as a strong, steadying supporter of his wife, and he filmed one of the more troubling scenes himself. Co-producer Davis, the wife of Beastie Boy Mike D, came to the project near the end to help finish it. Anderson funded the film through various ways, initially with a benefit concert including Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon performing at the Knitting Factory and then through a Kickstarter campaign which raised $46,000. The film, Anderson's first feature-length documentary, premiered in March 2013 at SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, Texas, where it was positively reviewed. The film was picked up for distribution in North America by Sundance Selects. It is scheduled for theatrical release in November 2013.

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