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Fans Recall How Indigo Girls Helped Them Through Sexuality and Sobriety in ‘It’s Only Life After All’ Doc

The documentary film about the queer band premieres in theaters on April 10 for a one-night-only viewing experience

As much as the new documentary film Indigo Girls: It’s Only Life After All casts a light on the trailblazing history of the queer duo, it also celebrates the community that formed around them beginning in the late-Eighties. A new scene from the film, in theaters April 10 for a one-night-only viewing experience, offers a look into the tangible, human stories that extend beyond the music as fans detail their relationship with it.

“I came out in 1997 and their music helped me deal with that fact,” one fan explained. Another added that Indigo Girls came across their radar “when I was coming out,” adding that it felt nice “just to know that there was people out there who were saying the things that you were feeling.” A couple featured in the scene shared a sweet sentiment about the time they spent “rocking out to the Indigo Girls and getting married to the Indigo Girls.” They’ve been together for 24 years.

But there’s another layer to the duo’s impact. “I’ve been clean and sober 29 years now,” one fan shared. “They were almost like this unspoken permission that it was OK to let all that go. A lot of healing went on probably the second third of my growing up — and I think I’m just on the last third now.”

Another revealed that the band was instrumental in helping her through a divorce, adding: “I would blare the Indigo Girls on Saturdays when I didn’t have my kid with me. At times it’s helped me survive and made it so that I stayed here and didn’t check out. And that’s been true over the course of the 30-plus years I’ve been listening to them.”

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Indigo Girls — Amy Ray and Emily Saliers — released their debut album Strange Fire in 1987. They led with a sense of fearlessness that was something of a rarity at the time. “Something about what you had to be as a girl didn’t fit in with what we wanted to be as Indigo Girls,” Ray shared in the documentary trailer. Saliers added: “Back then, there were very few artists that were out. Very few. People feared for their careers.”

The Alexandria Bombach-directed documentary debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Today’s theatrical release via Oscilloscope Laboratories for one day on April 10 features select theaters across the U.S., but a digital release will follow on May 7.

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