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Inspired by Steven Blush's book "American Hardcore: A tribal history" Paul Rachman's feature documentary debut is a chronicle of the underground hardcore punk years from 1979 to 1986. Interviews and rare live footage from artists such as Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, SS Decontrol and the Dead Kennedys.Written by
Despite this movie talking about how Reagan's presidency gave inspiration to the whole hardcore punk scene, New York Hardcore Punk band Reagan Youth is nowhere to be heard in this documentary. See more »
I remember reading a review of American Hardcore in one of the weeklies in Portland. It stated something to the extent that if you know hardcore, you will not learn anything and if you know nothing about hardcore, you won't learn much. I can't agree more.
As someone that has a fair amount of knowledge of the history of the American Hardcore movement, I don't feel like I learned much new about hardcore. And, I have talked to others that know little about hardcore and they had a hard time tracking.
I was also surprised about some of the things that were missing. How could Maximum Rock n' Roll be left out? Maybe the Dead Kennedys were left out because of all the legal stuff going on with them now or maybe because a lot of old punks don't like them now. I know there is only so much room and info someone can squeeze into two hours, but it is hard to see how certain things were left out of it.
I think it was a good attempt. The director should have made a better decision and either make it a movie for someone that knew nothing or a movie for the more advanced viewer. Still, if you are a fan of hardcore or you are perhaps a younger viewer that has some interest in the hardcore punk movement of the early 80's, it is worth renting.
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