Tag Archives: Madsen Minax

More Reviews Riot Acts

More Reviews – Riot Acts

“‘Riot Acts’ beautifully traces the meaning of ‘transition’ in terms of bodies, music, voice, harmony, humor and grace. This is a (literally) moving account of the presence and impact of gender variant musicians upon a variety of music scenes and genres and it exposes audiences both to the gendering of music but also to the musicality of gender. A must see film!”Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity and In a Queer Time and Place. USC

“As the corporate music business continues its long slow slide toward cultural oblivion, it’s refreshing to know that the DIY ethic continues to flourish among trans artists in local clubs, cabarets, and dance halls. This fascinating and touching film introduces the viewer to a aspect of the music scene that they may not have previously encountered, or at least known that they have encountered, partly because its defining features are fluid and not always evident to an audience. Riot Acts smartly mixes analysis of transgender politics with an eclectic array of fantastic music!” Tom Shevory, Professor of Politics, Ithaca College, Author of Notorious HIV: The Media Spectacle of Nushawn William

“At a time when even Hollywood A-listers seem to want a don a wig and belt out a number, Madsen Minax has brought us the real story behind today’s trans and genderqueer musicians. With candid interviews and explosive performance footage, ‘Riot Acts’ is engrossing from start to finish. If all the world’s a stage, these artists are truly making it their own.” Tavia Nyong’o, Professor, NYU Tisch School for the Arts

“Finally, a documentary about transgender people that highlights their talents, interests, and spirit, rather than focusing on them solely as political beings. This gender bending rock and roll fusion not only entertains, but also gives a backstage glimpse into the artistic and personal lives of working musicians who are trailblazers in their own right. I challenge anyone to watch this film and not walk away with at least one new favorite band.” Tracy Nectoux, Editor, SmilePolitely.com, Reviews Editor for the GLBT Round Table newsletter of the American Library Association; librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Riot Acts

Riot Acts

A film by Madsen Minax
72 minutes, color, USA, 2009
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: All Films, Art and Music, Civil Rights, Health, Home Video, Homepage, LGBT Studies, Music


“Riot Acts” is a “trans-fabulous” rockumentary representing the multi-dimensional lives of transgender and gender variant musicians. A first-hand perspective of the intersections between gender performance and stage performance, “Riot Acts” suggests that identities and bodies are undeniably political, and the journey within a trans experience isn’t always one of tragedy, but one of creativity and joy.


“What director Madsen Minax doesn’t do is label the performers. ‘Riot Acts’ spotlights and identifies the names of a wealth of artists…but the movie never tries to shoehorn them into the biology-is-destiny square pegs of mainstream mediaspeak…’Riot Acts’ is one of those few documentaries that succeeds because of what it choose not to tell you.” Baltimore City Paper

“‘Riot Acts’ enthusiasm is infectious!”Jason Barker, London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

“‘Riot Acts’ discusses the realities of being a trans musician with the kind of candidness that only a ‘by us for us’ project allows…!” Baltimore Radar

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