THE OTHER F WORD
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
I may not be into punk rock, but I am a father, and my job necessitates me to not be the mainstream normal guy. I’ve never wanted to be that. I remember telling my wife before we had kids that I didn’t think I could stomach being a corporate paper-pusher, running around to ballet recitals, wearing khakis, loafers and a polo shirt as I videotaped our kid on stage. I was always a bit of a maverick, for better or for worse. I may not have been the kind of guy to screech punk rock music on stage and give the finger to the world, but I suppose I’ve done something milder like that for much of my adult life.
This is why “The Other F Word” intrigued me so. This is not your standard rockumentary. Instead, it’s a fathermentary. “The Other F Word” looks at the aging punk rockers who were all about anti-authority trying to be the authority figure in their children’s lives. It examines how these artists continue to make a living with their music while raising children, and how sometimes these things clash uncontrollably but other times mesh perfectly.
The strength of this film is its ability to root out different punk rock musicians for a wide variety of stories. There is not one type of punk rock dad shown. There are many, and each one deals with fatherhood in a different way. We also see how this role changes whether the kids are boys or girls, and whether they are just toddlers or teenagers.
But even beyond the punk dads struggling to get their kids to obey their authority while their music screams, “Fuck Authority,” “The Other F Word” shows how hard it is for any musician to live a life on the road and still be a family man. In particular, Jim Lindberg from Pennywise faces bigger struggles because he cannot devote all his time to the band. Whether it’s another career, a woman or his kids, this is a distraction that drills a painful rift between him and his bandmates.
If you ever listened to punk rock from the 80s or 90s and thought how hard it’s going to be for these guys to deal with their own kids, this documentary reveals that truth. But it does so in a touching and not-at-all preachy way.
The DVD includes a feature commentary with documentary subjects Jim Lindberg and Art Alexakis, along with director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins and producer Cristan Reilly. Additional features include outtakes, exclusive acoustic performances, music videos, the original theatrical trailer and the post-screening Q&A at the SXSW Film Festival from last year.