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Documentary on women's music premieres Saturday

The Boston premiere of "Radical Harmonies ," the award-winning documentary chronicling the women's music cultural movement, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in Wong Auditorium. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with five of the film's featured musicians.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2002 San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, "Radical Harmonies" chronicles the evolution from "girl with guitar" to a revolution in the roles of women in music and culture.

Through festival and performance footage, interviews and archival material, the film delves into the history of women creating a cultural life committed to diversity, personal integrity, feminism and women loving women. In its heyday during the 1970s and '80s, women's music opened doors for women musicians, producers, sound and light technicians, and for new women-owned recording companies and women-oriented shows. Pioneers like Cris Williamson, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Margie Adam and Linda Tillery recall the frustrations and triumphs of finding female sound engineers and other professionals in a male-dominated industry.


Following the screening, the audience is invited to a panel discussion with the following artists featured in the film: Bitch and Animal, who push the boundaries of the queer cultural movement and address transgender issues; Alix Dobkin, dubbed "the original Riot Grrrl," who recorded the first lesbian-identified album in the 1970s; June Millington, called "one of the hottest female guitarists in the industry" by Guitar Player magazine and an original member of Fanny, the first all-woman rock band signed to a major label; and Sharon Washington of the Washington Sisters, who entered the women's music scene in the mid-1980s with her sister Sandra, performing jazz, blues, ballads, gospel, reggae and Brazilian-influenced music.

Admission to the event is $15 for the general public but is free for students with college ID. For more information, call 253-4795.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 20, 2002.

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