It’s hard to be a rebellious punk rock teen in the U.S. in 2013. When even suburban fourth graders have mohawks (courtesy of lame moms and dads who want everyone to say, “Man that kid must have cool parents”), you know a subculture has been tamed. But, being a punk in Communist China, well that’s punk rock!
As the rest of the world was tuned in to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Australian filmmaker Shaun Jefford decided to focus on a very small, but hardcore group of punks as they went about life in a city that was highly suspicious of their music and lifestyle. Jefford takes his cameras into tiny, out of the way clubs and cramped apartments to profile a small collective of young adults who love everything about punk rock (complete with suspenders, Docs, and still taboo in China, tattoos).
Jefford’s ability to get his subjects to open up is especially impressive, given the amount of suspicion these kids illicit from just about everyone they encounter. Beijing Punk is proof that the ’70s ethos that the genre created is still alive and well… at least in China.
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