Hot Docs review: Fanny: The Right To Rock

Bobbi Jo Hart's rockumentary about the first all-female band to land a record deal and tour the world is exuberant


FANNY – THE RIGHT TO ROCK (Bobbi Jo Hart, Canada). 92 minutes. Rating: NNN 


In the late 60s and early 70s, a band called Fanny popped up in the Los Angeles music scene, landed a record deal and toured the world – the first all-female band to do so. David Bowie was a fan, so why haven’t you ever heard of them? 

Well, as Hart’s lively rockumentary points out, some of it is due to old-fashioned racism and sexism. The band was fronted by Filipina-American sisters June and Jean Millington, who were regarded as a novelty act until people saw them play. The movie catches up with the Millingtons and bandmate Brie Brandt as they record a comeback album and reflect on their history.

The history of BIPOC musicians in mainstream rock is a riveting topic – Rumble director Catherine Bainbridge is an executive producer here, and this movie handles its performance footage in a similarly exuberant way. And if the Fanny doc doesn’t quite have the same power, it’s a vivid look at artists who remained entirely themselves throughout their careers.

And they rock.

Available to stream from April 29 at 10 am here

@normwilner

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