DOXA 2021 review: Fanny: The Right To Rock spotlights the first all-female band to rock the world

Bobbi Jo Hart's rockumentary offers a vivid look at an unsung rock band from Los Angeles, fronted by Filipina-American sisters, who made music history

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      Fanny—The Right to Rock 

      A documentary by Bobbi Jo Hart (Canada). Streaming at the 2021 DOXA Documentary Film Festival from May 6 to 16.

      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 Bobbi Jo 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.