the essence of punk in 5 documentaries

The essence of punk in 5 documentaries

From Raw Punk to Punk Rock, the essence of punk in 5 documentaries

Punk is a social movement that boomed in 1970s Britain. From there, it expanded worldwide through its music, fashion and ideals.

This movement is based on protesting against the guidelines set forth by society, as well as the rebelliousness of the individuals that are part of it and its characteristic self-management as a counterculture.

No country or corner of the world was spared from having an outbreak of the Punk movement. Although nowadays it is said that “punks ruined punk” because they no longer have the same ideology.

But it is obvious, the times have changed. However, the rebellious nature of a youngster will forever be considered punk. Which is why All City Canvas decided to fill you in on 5 documentaries that show the essence of Punk; some portraying its beginnings and others that reveal how the movement is experienced today.

The documentaries

The list begins with Los Punks, a documentary created by Vans, portraying the current Punk scene of in south and central LA.

The documentary tells the story of youngsters who perform gigs in their neighborhoods, and how they manage these events.

A key film for American Punk is Death, a band called death, which reveals how The Ramones were not the first Punk band in North America, but one called Death, made up of three of African-American, Catholic brothers.

The story reveals how present-day fans discover a very strong sound in unknown records, which they later discover is the sound of Death (no pun intended!), who came about three years before The Ramones, when Punk was not yet “labeled” Punk.

When referring to the attitude that the movement entailed, one of the main documentaries is Punk Attitude, which includes testimonies of members of Black Flag, The Clash, Sonic Youth, among others.

Although some bands were not punk, they were very much influenced by it, as was the case with grunge, punk rock and some protest bands.

Was punk rock born in Peru? follows up on the question where punk was created, musically speaking. It portrays the life of Los Saicos, a Peruvian band that without knowing it, were playing Punk, through their subversive songs of the 60s.

This is a short documentary by Noisey, depicting the original members and their version of the story. They didn’t know that decades later, they would be considered the creators of Punk, as a musical movement.

Punk’s not dead!

Lastly, One nine nine four is a film that narrates the change that occurred in the 90s created by the bands that we know today as part of the Punk Rock genre that doesn’t distort the punk message, but the sound and the way it is produced.

It is the most commercial part of the Punk Rock scene, with bands like Green Day, Bad Religion and Rancind’s Tim Armstrong.

Finally, we’ll throw in an extra “credit”: Pussy Riot: A punk prayer, which portrays the notorious activist and musical Russian group, from their beginnings to how they seek equality in the ideologies of present day  Russia.

This selection shows the beginnings, the political activism involved and the people behind the movement as just that, people, not criminals, as they’ve always been judged.

From the most underground scene, to the more commercial material, which in and of itself contradicts the very essence of Punk. Many continue to fight for the ideology of destroying the system from the inside.

All of them reveal the essence of rebellion; they show us the story with the different feelings that a movement provokes.