Lithium Magazine: Interview with Susanne Tabata

Lithium Magazine: Interview with Susanne Tabata, September 2, 2011 (by Mike Bax)

When I was asked if I would consider checking out a documentary on the Vancouver punk scene from 1978 to 1983, my immediate answer was, “Yes, I’d love to”. Even though I started listening to this music in 1984, a year after the Vancouver scene fell apart in the eyes of the artists involved, bands like D.O.A. and The Subhumans ranked as highly with me as their US compatriots, Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, The Circle Jerks, and The Bad Brains. Getting to a see a documentary on the early days of these bands featuring new interviews with Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins, discussing the Vancouver scene, was something of great interest to me.
After watching the feature (which has been edited a few times for integration into television slots and to run as a feature film documentary) I was impressed with the interview and archival footage, as well as the overall narrative that ran through the film. The story told in Bloodied But Unbowed isn’t always a pretty one, but it’s engaging from beginning to end. Interview footage of Gerry Hannah (The Subhumans) and Art Bergmann (The K-Tels, Young Canadians) is particularly interesting, and ranks with the finer footage in the film.

With a scheduled DVD release on the horizon, fans all over the world should be able to purchase this film and watch it in the comfort of their living rooms, but a firm release date has not yet been set. Bloodied But Unbowed is still showing is select cities (a gala showing is set for Pop Montreal on September 22nd at Blue Sunshine) and the creators sound like they would love to take the film abroad and showcase the film in some foreign countries before it goes worldwide on DVD.

Bloodied But Unbowed director Susanne Tabata took a sizeable chunk out of her pre-holiday weekend to talk with me about the film and her efforts in putting it together.