Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary (2004) Poster

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Lesbian punk-rock band documentary
pastier-117 July 2006
An interesting documentary about the San-Francisco-based lesbian punk-rock band Tribe 8.

Technically, it's a bit rough-edged (it was shot on 16 mm film), but the stories of the various band members are of interest, and are at times quite moving.

There's quite a bit of performance footage (shot in San Francisco and New York, enlivened by frequent toplessness and occasional dildo-flaunting), interspersed with quite a bit of head-shot interview footage. A fair chunk of the film deals with the positive and negative ways that the band's philosophy was received by feminists at a women's conference in Michigan.

For me, it was an interesting look into a world that was previously not on my radar screen. What might at first seem like a glamorous scene proves to be a tough life filled with economic and emotional hardship.

Rise Above's modest production values are more than offset by its compelling subject mater.
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Tribe 8 rocks!!
sonya900284 December 2008
I finally got to see this on DVD, after looking high and low for it. It was worth the wait. Tribe 8 are truly a cutting-edge band. They are among the leading innovators, of the queer-core Punk rock movement. Similar bands have followed in their foot-steps, but Tribe 8 is the original template.

It was great to hear the band members give their life stories. They are quite a talented bunch. They all have had their trials and tribulations, such as drug and alcohol abuse, problematic relationships, etc. But they've all overcome these issues, and gone on to achieve their goals.

Even if you're not a big fan of Punk rock, this documentary tells an entertaining tale, about a band with lots of heart. Tribe 8 write all of their own lyrics, and play their own instruments. There is not a bit of glamor, or phoniness involved in their music.

They formed the band not to become rich, famous rock stars. But because they deeply believe in the philosophy of all people (regardless of gender, race, class, or sexual orientation), to follow their dreams. All of the band members are dykes, and proud of it.

Fans of Punk rock, won't be disappointed with Tribe 8's songs that they perform in the film. They go full-throttle, playing some of the most visceral, energetic Punk rock songs ever. During their songs, they sweat, perform topless, and sing explicit lyrics.

Their singer, Lynnee Breedlove, even performs a mock castration, with a rubber dildo that she wears on-stage. The band members explain that these wild antics, are meant to make a political statement about male gender privilege in society.

All of this can be shocking, to those with delicate sensibilities. But Tribe 8 means to shock those that are oblivious to gender and sexuality issues, and what they mean regarding a person's right to express their true sexual/gender identity. They are all the real deal, and have had a major impact in the queer-core Punk rock scene.

Tribe 8 are firmly committed to their music, gender politics, and lifestyle. The band's avant guard music, honesty, and raw determination to accomplish justice regarding gender and sexual politics, make Rise Above a very vital documentary to view.
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