Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
March 22nd, 2011

Rating: 4/5

Director: Andrea Blaugrund
Writer: Andrea Blaugrund
Cast: Jim LindbergTony AdolescentArt AlexakisRob ChaosFlea

We all know what the “standard” version of a father figure is supposed to look like, sound like, and do for a living, but what about those kids who preferred getting tattoos and outrageous hairstyles to express themselves? What happens when those punk rock kids grow up? Get married? Start families? When people who are known for stirring the pot and pushing their boundaries suddenly become role models? But as it happens, we all grow up eventually, some of us just happen to do it with tattoos emblazoned across our foreheads. THE OTHER F WORD delves into the world of fatherhood with a punk rock twist and does so with such heart and honesty by the end of the film you just see a group of dads, regardless of their outward appearance.

Director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins uses interviews with various well-known punk rock musicians from Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea to Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus to NOFX’s Fat Mike to illustrate their various home lives and experiences raising their children. The film mainly focuses on the journey of Pennywise front man, Jim Lindberg, who spends more time on the road then he does at home. This is not because Lindberg wants an escape from the confines of suburbia, but it is the direct result of record sales dropping and record companies falling to the wayside, causing working musicians to tour more than ever in order to make a living for themselves and their families.

Lindberg wants what is best for his family, but he also wants to do what is best for his band, who he has been with for thirteen years and do not all have families to understand why his loyalties are torn. Many of the dads highlighted throughout the film note that they came from broken homes without constant parental figures and that was part of the reason they began to rebel and get into the punk rock movement. You begin to see the fear Lindberg has of repeating this cycle with his own children since he is on the road more than he is at home and the new choices he is suddenly faced with.

Whether raising toddlers or teenagers, it becomes clear that these dads deal with the same issues as any "regular" dad. One of the tenants of the punk rock movement was rebelling, especially against authority. Now these rebels are the authority figures and watching them navigate those tricky waters with their own children is at times funny, but more often than not, simply heartwarming. You begin to realize that dads are dads and the staples of raising children apply whether your arms are covered in a sleeve of tattoos or the sleeve of a cardigan.

The film works to not only show the struggles and triumphs of parenthood, but also provide funny irony such as these musicians buying the clean versions of their albums to play in the car with their kids. When you see these dads through their children’s eyes, you see how kids simply view them as parents. At the end of the day, what you look like and what you do for a living does not matter, kids just want to know they are as important to their parents as any tour or tattoo.

THE OTHER F WORD strips away the seemingly odd juxtaposition of rebellion versus parenthood and shows that at the end of the day, it is no longer about the struggle of you against the world, it is about your children and the sacrifices you make for their happiness. It is said that once you have children, your entire world changes and you as a person change as well. Watching these men thrash out on stage to then come home and help pick out a dress for their daughter to wear to school proves that maybe you do not have to change completely, instead you adapt. Lindberg makes a telling observation at the end of the film that maybe music is not the only way to try and change the world, maybe being better parents and raising better kids can help achieve that goal as well.

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