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USA, 1994 (MIFF 1995, Youth Film Festival)

Director: Lisa Rose Apramian

A fascinating 'serious' exploration of all-female rock bands now referred to universally as the riot girl phenomenon. Self-styled Californian feminist psychologist Dr Lisa interviews the suit­ably loud, enraged and articulate leaders of this very nineties movement of do-it-yourself punk-rock-inspired alternative acts turned mega suc­cessful youth role models, in an industry well known for its sexism and male notions of musical prowess. Covering in detail self-taught grunge groups like L7 and Babes in Toyland, but also taking us back to original femrockers from the seventies like Joan Jett, Not Bad For A Girl is a rockumentary which takes after Penelope Spheeris' Decline of Western Civilisation series but with decidedly rawer edges. Despite Courtney Love (Kurt Cobain's widow) telling us "I want to be like Christ...people probably have a hard time understanding that," most of the material accu­rately conveys the real and potentially threaten­ing political message right on the surface of this exceedingly expanding subculture and its fixation on, paradoxically, the Lolita factor and Naomi Wolf's beauty myth. This doco is a must for any­body who dares to admit they haven't heard of this hardline pop feminist onslaught which has crashed in on the white western world.

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