(originally posted 07/08 at wordpress)
by mae stephenson
As a fan of local music, I fell in love with the Gits a long time ago. As a feminist, I fell in love with their story shortly there after. Tomorrow, I get to see their story on the big screen.
The Gits were a Seattle-based punk rock band from 1986-1993. Singer-songwriter Mia Zapata was a fiery, bold, talented, bad-ass of a woman who had a knack for adding a bluesy edge to her passionate songs about determination, struggle, drinking buddies and survival. In 1993, after a night at the bar she was raped and killed in park on her way home. Her body was found maybe an hour after she left her friends, but her rapist and killer wasn't found until 2004. People were shocked: how could this happen to a strong, confident woman like Mia? It was a wake up call for many-- sexual violence can truly happen to any woman. In response, her friends immediately and organically got together to discuss violence and safety in their community and utilized their skills as artists and musicians-- and their passion to move forward proactively after Mia's murder-- to start the non-profit anti-violence organization Home Alive!, which offers sliding scale and free self-defense workshops to the community. The story is at once heart-breaking and inspiring. The community lost an incredible woman and artist, but gained an important organization working to prevent violence and to empower women.
The 2008 documentary (directed by Kerri O'Kane) entitled The Gits tells the whole story, and I strongly encourage you to attend. It's showing at the Clinton Street Theater July 5th-10th at 7pm & 9pm. General Admission: $6. Tuesday Admission: $4.
On Tuesday July 8th, Portland has the honor of hosting special guests the director and the surviving members of the band at both showings.
Check out the following links for more info: