The Punk genre is potentially one of the more exciting new offerings in the line-up this year, although I don't know whether to expect lots of varied interpretations of the challenge, or just the same film over and over again. Alongside it, this team have decided to employ one of the oldest and most polarising genre options of 48HOURS: the Mockumentary. It's arguably a dangerous choice, especially given the shorter time-limit this year - my team briefly discussed mockumentary options on the Friday night then discarded them, reasoning that the form requires time for the awkward moments to breathe. In any case, there is a question of whether this is in itself a Punk film, or rather a Documentary film *about* punk. But I'm nitpicking really, and the film certainly puts its punk elements front and centre.
The film itself is a retrospective, following up on the fortunes of (only?) two former bandmembers of cult classic punk outfit "The Disease". We see archival footage from music videos of the two in action back in the day (quite how long ago 'the day' was is indeterminate, although despite no obvious efforts to age up or down, the different looks of then and now worked fine for me to sell the characters). In present day, he speaks passionately in the rhetoric of anti-establishment politics, railing against the Man, so clearly the punk essence is still there in him, if somewhat redirected (his interview also features a cute use of the required line). She, by contrast, has fully reversed direction, now a real estate agent, someone who seems to value status, speaking with an affected plum. She strongly defends her change by arguing that change has to come from within the system, with an occasional air of desperate justification, although we're not totally convinced that even she truly believes what she's saying.
The file footage of the band playing, with clips of live gig performance and some location music video bits in an industrial railway setting, are well-composed and definitely feel like a legit NZ alt-music aesthetic, perhaps from the 90s. The footage was used quite a lot throughout actually, and I was a little disappointed to see a few bits repeat two or three times, rather than getting a richer spread of material. Still, I suppose often these documentaries do repeat footage if they don't have much to go on.
The main narrative of the film was looking at how these two individually had evolved since their punk days. But the real elephant in the room for me, one that I craved to have addressed, was the relationship *between* the two of them - were they close when in the band? Were they a couple? Why did the band break up? Do they still keep in touch? etc. I felt that maybe there was a bit too much focus on fulfilling the structure of the documentary format, at the expense of a deeper exploration of the characters' story. So overall, some key story missing for me, but still some fun stuff in here.