Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Beijing Punk" DVD (director: Shaun M. Jefford)

Director Jefford did a wonderful job on this feature-length documentary, delving deeper into the burgeoning Chinese punk rock scene. What's so cool about this is that these underground artists in Beijing are truly underground, as their oppressive government certainly opposes their individuality and message. They are under constant threat from their government more than we in the Western world can imagine.

Skinhead/punk band Misandao, indie band Hedgehog, and classic punkers Demerit are the main focuses here, as Jefford accompanies them to clubs, shows, and on the streets of Beijing, where they are truly outsiders in their leather jackets, mohawks, tattoos, and studded jewelry. The bands' attitudes and thuggish behavior (especially in Misandao and Demerit's cases) may seem juvenile and stereotypical for an English or American punk band, but these artists are at the forefront of a new attitude in China, expressing themselves socially and politically -- a radical step in such a restrictive state. "Beijing Punk" shows a new awareness in a culture, looking at democracy from an outsider's viewpoint. These bands have plenty to shout about, and this documentary is inspiring and engrossing. (Seminal Films via MVD Visual)

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