Never Release My Fist

Wuhan, an industrial city of more than ten million people, became the center of gravity for China’s punk scene in the 90s. Inspired by grunge titans Nirvana and junked cassette tapes exported from the U.S., Chinese punks used their minimal funds and considerable talents to build a vital musical community, albeit one so small that a single drummer briefly had to split his time over five different bands. Never Release My Fist chronicles the criss-crossing lives of the major players, and it excels when director Shuibo Wang focuses on the scene’s rebellious godfather, SMZB front man Wu Wei. He provides vague anecdotes of the friction he feels in China; the static shots used in nearly every interview undermine his colorful tales of an unstable lifestyle, but any doubts about his credibility are vanquished by the scene of him and his bandmates fishing through garbage in search of edible food. In English and sub­titled Mandarin.