Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over

Directed by Beth B
Year: 2021
Running Time: 77 minutes
Country: U.S.
Language: English
English Closed Captions

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over by Beth B is the first career-spanning documentary retrospective of Lydia Lunch’s confrontational, acerbic and always electric artistry. As New York City’s preeminent No Wave icon from the late 70’s, Lunch has forged a lifetime of music and spoken word performance devoted to the utter right of any woman to indulge, seek pleasure, and to raise voice in a rage as loud as any man. The film frames Lunch’s work through the lens of the various philosophical themes that have obsessed her for years to enlighten and empower women to voice the unheard and to break the cycle of violence toward women throughout the world. Lydia Lunch is the psycho sexual transgressive who revoked patriarchal expectations of what a female performer might mean, while forging a vocabulary of rare emotional honesty, philosophy and humor.

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over includes interviews with Lydia Lunch and longtime collaborators and colleagues including: Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth; performance artist Kembra Pfahler; Teenage Jesus bass player, Jim Sclavunos; Donita Sparks from L7; famed DJ and musician Nicolas Jaar; Art Critic Carlo McCormick; Filmmaker Richard Kern and a long list of other groundbreaking artists connected to Lunch’s past and present. Filming in rehearsal and on tour with her band Retrovirus, the behind-the-scenes footage reveals a side of Lunch’s personality that has been unseen. Her warmth and generosity in private interactions along with hilarious banter in the rehearsal studio with band members contrasts wonderfully with her brash, assaultive style of performance. The film is not only about Lunch, but about the scene that she helped spawn, continues to grow and influence, and the creative people who join her in creating a new vision of woman.

"Critic's Pick! Vigorous... shows her mastery of live performance and also highlights her very urban sense of sarcasm; sometimes she suggests no-wave’s answer to Fran Lebowitz."


“A wild and impactful... portrait of a punk rock priestess."


“A truly extraordinary artist.”


“She’s a legend in her own right.”


“Always a provocateur, occasionally a chanteuse, frequently a nihilist, Lydia Lunch performs unapologetically with the instincts of a predator."


"Lunch’s defiantly unfashionable sort of feminism is the main point of interest in this documentary. Viewers will... marvel at a woman who, at 60, seems just as fierce as she was 40 years ago."


“This in-your-face documentary, which was made with Lunch’s participation, shows how she’s been able to survive on her wits and attitude, while being an underrated influence on her peers and subsequent generations of punk-influenced music artists.”


Cast
Lydia Lunch
Thurston Moore
Kembra Pfahler
Nicolas Jaar
Donita Sparks
Richard Kern

Crew
Directed by Beth B