Hardcore, D.C., documentaries on You can’t be what you were.

By Christina Cauterucci
Washington City Paper

You can’t be what you were.

How many ways can the D.C. punk icons of yore retell their tales of all-ages basement shows and subverting the ever-hungry maw of the capitalist music industry? After this year, add two more well-sourced volumes to the record: Salad Days: Punk in the Nation’s Capital and Positive Force: More Than a Witness, both documentary films that premiered on the same November weekend. Whether D.C. needs two more rehashings of the white-dude-heavy, MacKaye-Rollins glory days is up for debate (there’ve been plenty of films made on the subject before, including a 1991 doc about Positive Force, profiles of Fugazi and Bad Brains, and a forthcoming doc on the ’70s roots of D.C. hardcore), but the punk scene’s impulse toward nostalgia seems as healthy as it ever was.

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