Holly Hansen stars in new doc, My Way Back Home

Holly Hansen stars in new doc, My Way Back Home
From My Way Back Home

There's a new half-hour documentary out today from our friends over at Pioneer Public Television -- a PBS station in Appleton -- and in our humble old opinions here at Gimme Noise, we're going to go right ahead and say that it's a must-see. In fact, we can think of at least two big reasons why y'all should take a little time out of your not-so-busy workdays -- it's Friday after all! -- to peep this one. (Well, okay, probably a lot more than two, but let's keep things simple.)

First off, the vid, called My Way Back Home, was done by none other than producer/director Dana Johnson and director of photography Dan Huiting, who, you may recall, was one of our Artists of the Year in 2012. And second off, it stars Zoo Animal's Holly Hansen, who, along with also being a previous Artist of the Year, has evolved into one of Minnesota's most fascinating performers.

"When someone doesn't agree with you," Hansen says at one point in My Way Back Home, "it probably means you need to listen better." Well, Holly, we're all ears.

My Way is a richly-shot, intimate profile of Hansen, the singer best known for her work with local minimalist rockers Zoo Animal. It follows her on a trip back to the house she grew up in, in Cokato, Minnesota, where the camera also follows her to the church where first honed her skills as a performer -- and, as she relates, also learned the transformative powers of music.

From My Way Back Home
From My Way Back Home

It's an especially personal documentary -- Hansen opens up about her parents' splitting up, and about her own, much more recent, divorce -- but typical to the sort of work we've become accustomed to from Huiting and his team, My Way is most effective in how it allows its subject to simply exist in her own, unique space.

"Our goal at the station is to showcase the small towns of Western Minnesota, which are often overlooked by the rest of the state," Johnson says. "There are interesting stories that people have to tell about living here or growing up here and someone of Holly's status can help to get that message across. I moved back here from Los Angeles and I want people to see the beauty that I see in this quiet place everyday. I also want them to see the conflicted relationship between a person and their roots."

Fans of Zoo Animal should be especially excited by some of the live footage included here, for it gives a good taste of what the band's new, Crazy Horse-esque lineup sounds like. It's a tantalizing taste of what they should have in store for us down the road.

So, without further adieu, here's My Way Back Home:

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