xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
What does it mean when a singer goes silent? And a power woman loses her energy? And what if that woman is Kathleen Hanna? "The Punk Singer," a documentary about Hanna by Sini Anderson, explains using vintage performance footage, interviews with Hanna's fellow musicians, and chats with Hanna herself. Never one to mince words, Hanna's own surprising answer, the reveal of the film, is that Hanna has had something as dreary as Lyme Disease.
Hanna, the avatar of the Riot Grrrl movement of the mid-nineties, lead singer of Bikini Kill, stylist-inspiration for the trio Le Tigre which danced in-your-face, didn't seem the type to quietly shut down, yet she was suddenly not around much starting in 2005. It might not have been news to everyone, but for very young girls, and political lefties of the '90s and aught years, Hanna had been a big deal and cheerleader for girl empowerment, so her disappearance puzzled. Fans and friends thought maybe she was just tired, had nothing new to say or had told it all in lyrics which alluded to some childhood molestation (hers), discussions of "Girl" issues like eating disorders. In performances turning the tables on macho grunge, she had forced guys to the back so there could be a "girls only" space in concerts, ruled out inappropriate behavior in mosh pits, and told fellows to shut up if they were offensive or misbehaving. Or else she would stop performing. "I am your worst nightmare come to life/I'm the girl you can't shut up/There's not a guy big enough to handle this mouth" she spat out in her own version of lyrics/poetry slam.
But Hanna is rarely predictable, or even "to code." She had once supported herself as a stripper, and her unapologetic spin was that it was her body and she could do what she wanted with it. (Control is a constant theme with Hanna. And for any controller, when your body goes out on you, as hers recently did, it's an emotional wipe-out.) Surely it took bravado to go public with the stripping admission, making her fair game for a cliched feminist attack. Yes, someone might have dug it up, but she didn't have to acknowledge it had been her choice.
Worse yet, some in the press construed Hanna's over-all angry message as that of a self-victimizing victim. Yet if anything, her program is "How to be a hero of your own life," as writers from Jane Austen to Doris Lessing to Nora Ephron have also shown us.