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Dazed: The Best Feminist Punk Films of the Last 50 Years

July 4th, 2016

dazed16aFurious front women, terrifying girl gangs and a film that pissed off Dame Vivienne – these are the riotous movie classics you need to see

Punk was never a gender-bound movement. Propelled by a riotous sense of freedom and rebellion, it offered women the chance to break free from the constraints of conformity; and marked a major cultural moment for oppressed outsiders everywhere. Now, to celebrate its 40-year anniversary, one of punk’s principal spearheads Don Letts has announced an excellent programme of films centred on the movement. In anticipation of its premiere at the British Film Institute this summer, we round up some of the season’s biggest female-focused features.



Derek Jarman’s twisted post-apocalyptic nightmare sees fashion, sex and satire clash in a dystopian London, the streets of which are ruled by an army of terrifying girl gangs. A bizarre narrative in which the Queen is transported 400 years into the future to view what the country will become lets Jarman channel fury and mayhem through his female protagonists. It’s a glorious and gorgeously shot piece of punk history, with a joyous list of cameos including Adam Ant, Toyah Willcox and Brian Eno (with his first film score). Its release garnered mixed reactions (Vivienne Westwood notoriously printed an open letter to Jarman on a t-shirt stating how much she despised the film), but the director remained unperturbed, relishing the tribal-like fierceness of his women at a time when chaos ruled.

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