By Chris dos Santos
19th August 2021

Too many sections of our history have been pioneered by woman, but their stories have been quietly swept under the rug. 'Sisters with Transistors' pulls the back curtain on electronic music's past, and revels not only in the females behind the art form, but who invented it.

If you have had experienced any kind of study, be it high school or beyond, you will have watched many documentaries that feel tailor-made to the subjects you are studying. 'Sisters with Transistors' fits into that environment. It feels perfectly made for a class on the history of electronic music - and that's not a bad thing. It's an incredibly informative documentary, admit it's very dense at times, but it's the definitive package on the topic.


More a personal criticism, but since the film is an expository documentary, I find those harder to engage with compared to the more participatory/reflective styles of documentation. Due to this, I found it a little dry at times and occasionally tuned out. That isn't because the material isn't interesting, and is more a reflection of my personal taste in documentary styles.

The greatest achievement of the film is giving these incredible women - who essentially created a new form of music - a voice, celebrating their perseverance in a time when not only their gender was being locked out of creative spaces, but electronic music as a whole wasn't even allowed to be credited as music... which is kind of crazy to think about, considering what electronic music has evolved into today.

The greatest achievement of the film is giving these incredible women a voice.

'Sisters with Transistors' is an incredibly informative documentary but also what hinders it from being engaging as a film, due to the fact it serves more an educational purpose than a cinematic one. But that's not to discredit any of the incredibly talented women who finally have the stories told in their own voices.

Looking for more Melbourne International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
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