FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK – Documentary Review

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Fanny: The Right to Rock is filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart’s completely captivating documentary about the first all-girl hard rock band, Fanny, and how this sisterhood of talented and tenacious Filipina women musicians almost became the female equivalent of The Beatles — but didn’t. But hopefully this lively film will bring the group and their music the recognition — read that as adoration — they deserve.

Haven’t heard of Fanny? No surprise. Neither had I. They recorded for Reprise Records and Casablanca Records and were touring from 1969 to 1975, and the nation’s cultural zeitgeist just wasn’t right for an all-girl Filipina hard rock band to break through the Billboard Chart ceiling to number one. The highest ranking any of the songs on their five albums reached was number three. And they opened for headlining bands, always winning the praise of super star rockers, fans and music media.

Every second of this thoroughly engaging 96 minute documentary shows why it’s long overdue for these feminist rock icons — June Millington Jean Millington, Alice de Buhr, Nickey Barclay, Patti Quatro, Brie Brandt and Cam Davis — to get their well-deserved due.

The enthralling story of Fanny is well told, with on camera interviews with the band members and with thrilling archival clips of their recorded gigs and jamming hang outs at their Hollywood Hills home, as well as tributes from admirers such as Bonnie Raitt, Cherie Currie, Todd Rundgren and others who attest that these superb players paved the way for women and for the feminist ethos in rock ‘n roll.

As Fanny: The Right to Rock reveals, the group is now back on track with a new album. The band members, now in their 70s, say they’re as ready to tackle ageism in the music industry as they were and still are ready to fight antifeminism and discrimination against people of color (yes, I did write that they are Filipina, and very proud of their heritage). They are solidly determined to make this their moment, and they are rightfully joyful about it. Hopefully, you will be, too.


Title: Fanny: The Right to Rock

Directors: Bobbi Jo Hart

Release Date: May 27, 2022

Running Time: 96 minutes

Language: English

Screenwriter: Bobbi Jo Hart, Documentary

Distribution Company: Film Movement

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