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Positive Force: More Than a Witness: 30 Years of Punk Politics In Action (DVD)
Punk activist collective Positive Force DC emerged in 1985, rising from the creative, politically-charged ferment of DC punk’s Revolution Summer. Born in a dynamic local scene sparked by Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and Rites of Spring, a handful of young activists also drew inspiration from UK anarcho-punks Crass and the original “Positive Force” band Seven Seconds to become one of the most long-lasting and influential exponents of punk politics.
This feature-length film by Robin Bell skillfully mixes rare archival footage (including electrifying live performances from Fugazi, Bikini Kill, One Last Wish, Nation of Ulysses, Crispus Attucks, Anti-Flag, and more) with new interviews with key PF activists like co-founder Mark Andersen (co-author of Dance of Days) and supporters such as Ian MacKaye, Ted Leo, and Riot Grrrl co-founder Allison Wolfe. Covering a span of 30 years, More Than A Witness documents PF’s Reagan-era origins, the creation of its communal house, FBI harassment, and the rise of a vibrant underground that burst into the mainstream amidst controversy over both the means and the ends of the movement.
Through it all, Positive Force has persisted, remaining deeply rooted in their hometown, reaching out to those in need and building bridges between diverse communities, while regularly bringing punk protest to the front doors of the powers-that-be. Encompassing an ever-evolving cast of characters, the all-volunteer group has helped to nurture several generations of activists. In the best punk fashion, PF has applied creative DIY tactics and radical critiques to issues of homelessness, hunger, racism, corporate globalization, sexism, homophobia, war, gentrification, and animal/earth liberation, while struggling to constructively address conflicting dynamics and visions within the group itself.
Run time: 85 minutes.
The filmmakers' portion of the proceeds from the sale of the DVD will benefit the We Are Family senior outreach network.
A powerful snapshot of Positive Force at its early 90's peak, just before the eruption of Riot Grrrl and "Smells Like Teen Spirit," with a special focus on the role of the PF communal house.
Green Hair, Grey Hair (28 minutes, 2008, a film by Katrina Taylor & Rachell Williams)Award-winning short documentary that spotlights the unlikely -- but transformative -- alliance between inner-city seniors and young punk rockers fostered by PF's work with the "We Are Family" senior outreach network.
“Positive Force is the activist group that has helped define Washington, DC’s legendary punk rock scene.”
--Eric Brace, Washington Post Weekend
“Positive Force is an effort to recover the sense of community, ideals and purpose that had made the punk movement so inspiring.”
“Those damned drums are keeping me up all night.”
--George Bush on the Punk Percussion Protest, quoted in the New York Times
“Positive Force knows that music affects people and people effect change.”
--Lori Elaine Taylor, Smithsonian Folkways Records
About the Director:
Robin Bell, born and based in Washington DC, is an award-winning videographer, artist, professor at the Corcoran College of Art & Design, and Founder and Owner of Bellvisuals, a boutique production company focused on supporting social justice groups and environmentally sustainable companies.
About the Co-Producers:
Rachell Cain lives in Washington DC and has worked in non-fiction television for networks such as the Discovery Channel, History Channel and the Smithsonian Network. With co-producer Katrina Taylor, she created the award-winning documentary short Green Hair Grey Hair that has screened across the country.
Brian P. Duss is a filmmaker, musician and long time member of the DC punk community. When not working as a video & multimedia producer for DC based hunger advocacy organization Bread for the World, he serves on the board of We Are Family, a DC non-profit that does outreach to senior citizens in our nation’s capitol.
Directed By: Robin Bell
Publisher: PM Press
Format: DVD NTSC
Length: 180 minutes
Size: 7.7 by 5.5
Subjects: Music-Punk, Politics-Activism
See and hear director interviews, DVD reviews, and other news on the Director's Page HERE