From the punk scene in L.A. to Broadway musical, this documentary is a deserved and welcomed portrait chronicling seminal all-female band The Go-Go’s rise, fall, and eventual reunion. America’s first, and to date, only all-female writing and performing band to top the US Billboard Album Charts, The Go-Go’s bare all in this intimate and fun catalogue of trials and tribulations. Through archival footage and interviews, Alison Ellwood’s doc gives new and familiar audiences perspective of how this all-female band fought the odds of a male-centric industry to become a revolutionary feminist force.

Rising through the echelons of punk music, The Go-Go’s began with a raw aura and dogged spirit that eventually matured into more mainstream sounds. Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, and Jane Wiedlin look back at their triumphant past battles, against industry and each other, with a very relatable human element maintained throughout. Through a transition from punk to more catchy pop-rock, this ragtag group of friends tells their side of the story, the exuberance of their fame and the betrayals that would leave a former manager and former members hurt in their wake. The undeniable animosity of past splits perhaps still lingers for members active and former, but the resilient bond between the band is evident as we see their collaborations on new material.

The end credits remind us of The Go-Go’s achievements, but the outside perspective from other musicians and journalists remind us that the band should be rightfully inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In what represents a reflective feminist journey, Ellwood may not reinvent the documentary in terms of structure but it is a welcomed nostalgia piece, that is well-edited, concise, and informative.



CAST: Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin

DIRECTOR: Alison Ellwood

SYNOPSIS: Documentary about pivotal all-female American pop band The Go-Go’s and their rise, fall and reunion.