The Riot Grrrl movement may have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but it’s impossible to underestimate the impact this female-fronted punk upsurge had on music worldwide. Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna was the first woman to stand on stage and refuse to perform until the moshpit was completely cleared of aggressive six-foot dudes, allowing the girls to come forward. And, as this hugely entertaining doc shows, she’s still every bit as confrontational today, despite almost a decade out of the limelight and a life-threatening illness.
Celebrities from Kim Gordon and Joan Jett to Hanna’s own husband, Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz, queue up to pay tribute to this cultural firebrand, as the film tracks through her life from bile-spewing high school spoken-word performer to global star with her second band Le Tigre. Yes, the film can be a touch indulgent: Hanna isn’t about to hide her light under a bushel (as it were). But why should she? This is a woman who has been through hell and come out kicking, and the result is as much a celebration of her life as it is a documentary.