Watch Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig
- 1 hr 40 min
Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig is a 2006 documentary film directed by Katherine Linton that tells the story of the creation and production of the tribute album to Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The film features interviews with the musicians who contributed to the album, including Frank Black, The Breeders, Yoko Ono, Rufus Wainwright, and many others, as well as footage of them recording their songs in the studio.
The film opens with an introduction to the origins of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a 1998 off-Broadway musical written by John Cameron Mitchell, who also starred in it as the titular character. The musical tells the story of Hedwig, a genderqueer rock singer from East Berlin, and her band The Angry Inch, as she tours the country and struggles to find her place in the world.
Next, the film transitions to the making of the tribute album to Hedwig, titled Wig in a Box: Songs From and Inspired by Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We see interviews with the musicians involved in the project, who discuss their personal connections to Hedwig and how they came to be involved in the tribute album. For Frank Black, lead singer of the Pixies, he was drawn to the project because of the unconventional storytelling style of Hedwig, while for The Breeders, they fell in love with the music and lyrics of the show.
Throughout the film, we see the musicians recording their songs in the studio, with footage of the recording process interspersed with interviews about their creative choices and the thought process behind their interpretations of the original songs. One of the highlights of the film is watching Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia fame, record her cover of "Milford Lake" in a small, intimate setting. We also see The Polyphonic Spree record their version of the iconic "Wicked Little Town" in a church, performing the song with their signature uplifting and joyful energy.
Beyond the recording process, Follow My Voice also explores the impact that Hedwig has had on its fans and the LGBTQ+ community at large. We see footage of Hedwig tribute shows and drag performances, as well as interviews with people who have been inspired by the musical's message of self-acceptance and love. The film includes a particularly touching scene featuring a group of teens from the Hetrick-Martin Institute, who discuss how Hedwig has helped them find a sense of belonging in a world that often feels hostile to their identities.
The documentary also delves into the creative process behind the Hedwig stage show, with interviews with John Cameron Mitchell and his collaborator, composer Stephen Trask. Mitchell describes their process as "making soup," mixing together different elements and influences to create a show that is both deeply personal and universal in its themes.
Overall, Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig is a fascinating look at the creation of a tribute album to one of the most beloved and influential musicals of the past few decades. The film weaves together interviews with musicians, footage of the recording process, and an exploration of the impact that Hedwig has had on its fans, creating a multifaceted portrait of the cultural phenomenon that is Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig is a 2006 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.