Jean and June Millington, Filipino-American sisters and lifelong band members, best known for their 1970s rock band Fanny, have over 50 years of music industry history to ponder in the documentary ‘Fanny: The Right To Rock’.
When Fanny signed a record deal in 1970, there was no one in rock music like her. Although the group’s lineup has had several iterations, all of the members have been female, and two – June Millington and the drummer Alice de Buhr – are lesbians. Their musical chops earned them performances at venues such as Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles, where they won the respect of musicians such as David Bowie, Bonnie Raitt, Alice Bag and Cherie Currie of the Runaways.
The group broke up in 1975, but three original members – sisters June and Jean (Millington) Adamian and Brie Darling – came together for an album, “Fanny Walked the Earth,” released in 2018. The Thought of the Struggle of the group smiles. to Jean’s face in the movie. “We’ve tackled the prejudice against girls and feminism, and June says, now we’re going to fight ageism!”
Director Bobbi Jo Hart decided to show the group’s story through a combination of archival footage and contemporary interviews with band members and their famous fans. The film’s most fresh sequences come as Hart joins the band for recording sessions for their 2018 album, noting that Fanny’s sound remains heavy, even if the voices rumble a little more than in the screaming days of youth. But the conventional vérité recordings don’t add new depth to the guitar licks and improvisations, the cues of musicality that make Fanny feel artistically vital as white-haired rockers.
Then what the film shows best of its subjects is the humor and ease of women who have survived a life of adversity and struggle. Fanny has already proven itself – all we have left is to enjoy the growing catalog.
Fanny: The right to rock
Not judged. Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes. In theaters.