Watch the first trailer for The Slits documentary

Derek Evers

The Slits here to be heard

In 2008, during Impose’s first cross-country tour, we made a stop in New Orleans for a show featuring The Slits and Peelander Z. An odd pairing to be sure, but we weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to see the legendary punk band. One of the openers on that tour was Shellshag, a band we were just getting to know, but one with an ulterior motive for being on the tour besides performing. According to director Bill Badgley, Jennifer Shagawat of Shellshag was hired by Ari Up to be a, “jack-of-all-trades on tour with the reformed Slits. and during that time period, Ari Up asked Jennifer to film everything. It was couched in this urgent, high-energy vibe, like: “We have to do it now!” Jennifer started filming, but they didn’t know that the pressure Ari was referencing was very real because she was sick and it was serious, but she decided to keep that private. As time went on, they started to get this idea that something was going on but they didn’t know exactly what it was.”

Two years after we witnessed them perform, Ari passed away following a battle with cancer at the too-young age of 48. The resulting footage from the tour Jennifer collected has been painstakingly pieced together by Badgley, along with archival footage, creating the first documentarian look at the life of Ari and The Slits, Here to Be Heard. With a slated release later this year, we’re finally getting a look at what is to come. As Badgley summarized, “it’s an amazing story, and it’s insane that it hasn’t been done before.”

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