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The Punk Singer (2013)

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A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s.


Sini Anderson
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Hanna ... Herself
Tammy Rae Carland Tammy Rae Carland ... Herself
Kathryn Wilcox Kathryn Wilcox ... Herself (as Kathi Wilcox)
Tobi Vail Tobi Vail ... Herself
Billy Karren Billy Karren ... Himself (archive footage)
Becca Albee Becca Albee ... Herself
Corin Tucker ... Herself
Allison Wolfe Allison Wolfe ... Herself (as Allison C. Wolfe)
Ann Powers Ann Powers ... Herself, music critic
Lynn Breedlove Lynn Breedlove ... Herself (as Lynnee Breedlove)
Sara Marcus Sara Marcus ... Herself, author of 'Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution'
Carrie Brownstein ... Herself
Joan Jett ... Herself
Kim Gordon ... Herself
Jennifer Baumgardner Jennifer Baumgardner ... Herself


A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A punk csaj See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,729, 1 December 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$121,418, 10 January 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


[last lines]
Kathleen Hanna: I don't give a shit what people think. I know what's real, I don't care if people don't think feminism is important, because I know it is. And I don't care if people don't think late stage Lyme disease exists, because I have it, and other people have it. And we help each other, and we know it exists. And other people can think what they want. My problem is when people get in the way of feminism. Or people get in the way of people who are sick, getting better, because they don't ...
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Double Dare Ya
Written by Kathleen Hanna, Billy Karren, Tobi Vail, Kathryn Wilcox (as Kathi Wilcox)
Performed by MEN
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User Reviews

Self-Indulgent Tripe
22 May 2014 | by askmrpicklesSee all my reviews

Firstly, let me say this: I agree that Kathleen Hanna played a very important role in feminist history and I respect her for that. Get down with your bad Riot Grrrl self! However, please, for the love of whomever you find sacred, please get some perspective!

I am very sorry that she is suffering from what is revealed at the end of this film. I am, I truly am. I have not walked a mile in her shoes but I can only assume that her journey through her health issues have been a nightmare.

Here's my problem with the film: it's such an exercise in navel-gazing and delusion, at times it's almost painful to watch. If she would have just OWNED the fact that she's married to a Beastie Boy and has access to care and treatment that most normal people do not, I would have found her story more tolerable. And let's not forget that this is supposed to be an empowered feminist, yet when she talks of her stripper past (which I am NOT judging her for), she says, "It was the only decent paying job I could get." I call B.S. on that! Honey, just own it! You wanted to strip for the money - no big deal. But please don't make it out like it was the ONLY job you could get. Puh-leeeeze! We are basically the same age and while she's a heck of a lot cuter than I ever was and looked better in a bikini than I ever did, I found a way to have a decent paying job where I didn't remove my clothes (my choice).

I wanted to love this movie. But I did not. I did however love all the old 90s footage and some fun interviews with the likes of Kim Gordon and Tavi Gevinson.

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