La Escena: DVD

Aug 21, 2008

Punk rock in Puerto Rico. According to this documentary, p-rock didn't hit the island until the late ‘80s, or maybe early ‘90s. No one seems to be quite sure. But the reasons for its existence there is similar to the reasons why it exists in many places around the globe: the need for something different, for the youth to carve their own identity, a new way of life, and a release. Perhaps, for the same reasons, you do this crap as well. It had/has to happen in places that are conservative and political futures are uncertain. The story of “la escena,” which is what they refer to punk as in P.R., is told through various people from different facets who have been around for a while. The film starts off with the first wave talking about the beginnings, what it means, why they did it, sharing experiences, and why they are still around. Then they go into things like the C.P.P.R., which is, I believe, a large contingent of skinheads who have national pride, but claim to not be fascist or racist. The news footage of them walking through town and the bewildered reporters is a good laugh. Then there are the effects of rock en Español, and how it affected the punk scene. As expected, no one seems thrilled with it and felt it drained a bit of the energy from “la escena” itself. The first wave eventually disintegrates from the usual apathy, drugs, and alcohol. Then they bring in some of the young, like Jose, who have learned from the mistakes of the past and intend to build something stronger. So it ends on a hopeful note. Only time will tell. The quality is great, and they keep the pace moving, never belaboring one point. So instead of renting some turd like American Hardcore, why not get this instead? –M.Avrg (Discos de Hoy, Calle 4, C-5 Parque Montebello, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico 00976 / Southkore, 2814 S. Spaulding, Chicago, IL60623)