PICK: The Gits: Last week’s cover band gets its documentary due

They were named for a Monty Python sketch. Occasioned by this documentary (seen at SIFF '05), Hannah Levin's SW cover story last week also related the short, sad history of the Seattle band from Antioch College and its murdered songstress, Mia Zapata. Those details are well-known. As for the filmmaking of debut director Kerri O'Kane, she gets full and candid access from the surviving Gits and Zapata's friends and family members, and she sets those interviews into effective montage with performance clips from the era (chiefly from Doug Pray's Hype!). The Gits is immersed in the details of Seattle's '80s-into-'90s music scene without being awed by them. There's little mention of the bands that broke big, and 7 Year Bitch seems to be the primary object of friendly rivalry. There is a sense of time passing, or past, since Zapata's 1993 killing took so long to solve. A wistful tone of what-might've-been hangs over the three surviving Gits, now in their 40s, and it would be to cruel to suggest that they'll always have their memories—but nothing more. O'Kane is obviously a fan, and fandom plus gray hair always equals nostalgia. She would've improved her film by interpolating more of the criminal investigation—the cops come off well, but enter too late—into the fond grunge recollections. But if she didn't want to link Zapata's name with her killer (Jesus Mezquia), like Lennon and Hinckley, that's understandable. Her film is clearly meant as a tribute, not a tell-all.

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