The Punk Singer
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Lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, Hanna rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the Riot Grrrl movement of the '90s. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons for a new generation of women and a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and interviews with Hanna, as well as musicians like Kim Gordon, Joan Jett and Carrie Brownstein, THE PUNK SINGER… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's the music, though, including a wealth of galvanic performance footage from the Bikinis, particularly, that really makes this worth seeing. It's killer stuff indeed."
‑ Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times
""The Punk Singer" is a revealing look at Hanna's life, who throughout the film is willing to speak out about her struggles and triumphs in an open and honest way."
‑ Jeff Albertson, Seattle Times
"The Punk Singer works ... as an eye-witness account of an important movement in feminist art; it's a film as vibrant and as vital as [Hanna's] music."
‑ Austin Trunick, Under the Radar
"This blast from the past is strangely timely."
‑ Aine O'Connor, Irish Independent
"[A] terrifically watchable and impressively empowering documentary ..."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"The way Hanna burst onto the scene is just as interesting as how she faded from it."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"Where are the riot-grrrls of today? Take your daughters to the movie, then ask them."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"This hagiographic ode to the quintessential 90s riot grrrl is by no means definitive, but there's a welcome rallying cry to all wannabe revolutionary rockers hidden within the bio-doc blather."
‑ Michael Leader, Film4
"Anderson's film -- a scrappy, exuberant battler like its subject -- shows how Hanna has transmuted a hunger borne of body-image pressure into a hunger to change the world."
‑ Sophie Mayer, Sight and Sound
"Kathleen Hanna, former lead singer of Bikini Kill, comes across as an inspirational figure in Sini Anderson's rousing documentary."
‑ Geoffrey Macnab, Independent
"The movie succeeds as a punk chronicle by focusing on a true believer who was lionized by many but who turned out to be only human."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"At its best, The Punk Singer tells the story of one pivotal life in a whole movement."
‑ Ella Taylor, NPR
"...perhaps there is an inherent contradiction in attempting to capture a democratizing movement through an individual figure, as rocktastic and badass as that figure might be."
‑ Landon Palmer, Nonfics
"With energy and insight, this documentary races through the life of one of the most influential musicians of the 1990s, feminist punk artist Kathleen Hanna."
‑ Rich Cline,
"A fantastic introduction to original riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna and her groundbreaking work in music, feminism, and all-around kickass awesomeness."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
More reviews for The Punk Singer on Rotten Tomatoes