28 years after the band Minor Threat released the song ‘Straight Edge’, the counterculture known as Straight Edge has become a worldwide phenomenon that unites individuals rejecting all forms of intoxication.
The most widely associated perception of Straight Edge involves abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and promiscuous sex. Since it’s origin in the early 1980’s these beliefs have spread all over the world, connected through the Punk and Hardcore music scenes.
Through interviews with musicians that directly shaped the idea of Straight Edge from its inception until today, EDGE – perspectives on drug free culture reveals that the abstinence from drugs was established as a youth counter culture rejecting a society dominated by substance abuse and hegemony. Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), Ray Cappo (Youth of Today, Shelter) and Karl Buechner (Earth Crisis, Freya) give witness to their perception of the history of Straight Edge, why it was so important to them and what it changed in their personal and professional careers. But they also address problems like violence, sexism and intolerance that emerged within Straight Edge, and how it changed the ‘scene’ as well as its public image.
Furthermore, EDGE explores the lives of 9 individuals, that identify as Straight Edge. Their reasons range from negative experiences with drugs to maintaining a healthy lifestyle to political reasons. Through a very close and personal look into their daily lives, we see how their decision to live ‘poison free’ has changed the world for them.
But how do people discover Straight Edge? How do women experience Straight Edge subculture? What social backgrounds are shared by people new to the scene and what makes someone turn Straight Edge? How does mainstream culture perceive this movement?
EDGE is looking for answers to these questions on a roadtrip behind and beyond the scenes of the Straight Edge subculture.