Parents' Guide to

What We Started

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Glaring lack of women mars otherwise great EDM docu.

Movie NR 2018 96 minutes
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On the whole, this is an excellent and comprehensive documentary on EDM's past and present. It traces EDM's roots through disco, Chicago House, Detroit Techno, and the hip-hop and rave scenes, showing how these genres led to the massive success of EDM. The contrasts of EDM's underground roots and its recent years of mainstream success are discussed. Testimonial after testimonial from performers, promoters, and music industry insiders talk of what the music means to them, where it has been, and where it's going.

However, for all the talk of how "inclusive" the EDM scene is, the lack of women in What We Started is glaring. Apparently, there were or are no female performers, promoters, producers, or music industry VIPs in any of the musical genres discussed. The only woman who gets any time in the documentary is a female music writer. It's all the more shocking because there's an opinion presented that the dance music that emerged post-disco was largely a backlash response to a perceived racist and homophobic element to disco rather than a response to the oversaturation, commercial overload, and inevitable societal change that happens with any cultural phenomenon. This major omission should be enough to anger aspiring female DJs and fans of the music. It's the one massive void in an otherwise informative documentary.

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