Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution

Director: Yony Leyser
2017 | USA | 72m
GENRE: Activism | Biography/History | Bisexual | Documentary | Gay | Homophobia | Lesbian | Local Interest/Subjects | Music/Music Videos | Queer | Transgender
SECTION: Documentary
Expected Guests: Director, Yony Leyser; Subjects, Lynn Breedlove (Tribe 8), Jon Ginoli (Pansy Division)

Trailer

What happens when the community you need is not the community you have? Tell yourself it exists over and over, make fan zines that fabricate hordes of queer punk revolutionaries, create subversive movies, and distribute those movies widely—and slowly, the community you’ve fabricated might become a real and radical heartbeat that spreads internationally. This is the story that Queercore tells, from the start of a pseudo-movement in the mid-1980s, intended to punk the punk scene, to the widespread rise of artists who used radical queer identity to push back equally against gay assimilation and homophobic punk culture.

Interviewees discuss homophobia, gender, feminism, AIDS, assimilation, sex, and, of course, art. The extensive participant list includes Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, John Waters, Justin Vivian Bond, Lynn Breedlove, Silas Howard, Pansy Division, Penny Arcade, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Deke Elash, Tom Jennings, Team Dresch, and many more. Encompassing a breadth of history and influence, Queercore ends with a glimpse towards Riot Grrl and artists like Peaches and The Gossip, who, inspired by queercore legacy, were next to take the stage.

Underscoring the interviews are clips from movies, zines, concerts, and actions iconic to the movement. As steeped in the radical queer, anti-capitalist, DIY, and give-no-fucks approach as queercore itself, the movie reveals the perspectives and experiences of bands, moviemakers, writers, and other outsiders, taking audiences inside the creation of the community—and art—so desperately needed by the same queers it encompassed.

— SOPHIA LANZA-WEIL

CO-PRESENTED BY
924 Gilman Street / Homobiles RADAR Productions / San Francisco Zine Fest

  • Premiere Status: North American