‘Death Metal Grandma’

By Dan Verderosa, July 25, 2018
Alumni documentary chronicles a 96-year-old metal singer.
An older woman in black sings while men in black suits and skull makeup play instruments.

In a scene from “Death Metal Grandma,” Inge Ginsberg performs with her band.

(Photo provided)

There are sweet, kind grandmas, and there are cool grandmas. Then there’s Inge Ginsberg, the subject of 2015 Ithaca College graduate Leah Galant’s new documentary, “Death Metal Grandma.” The short film, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and can be seen on the New York Times website, follows the 96-year-old Holocaust survivor as she turns her poetry into heavy metal music and auditions for “America’s Got Talent.”

“I wanted to show that beyond the spectacle of ‘Death Metal Grandma’ lies an incredible, resilient and fierce woman named Inge Ginsberg,” said Galant, who studied documentary studies and production at the college’s Roy H. Park School of Communications. “Throughout the filming process, I was privileged to be the recipient of so much of her wisdom — much of which ended up in the film. I also wanted to highlight the importance of intergenerational relationships, which Inge and I both benefited from enormously.”

Galant was not the only IC alumna working on the film. Stephanie Khoury ’15 was credited for cinematography and editing. Galant and Khoury previously collaborated on another documentary, “Kitty and Ellen,” which screened at Doc NYC in 2017. Pete Quandt ’15 and Leroy Farrell ’15 also received cinematography credits on “Death Metal Grandma,” while Caleb Oaks ’15 was credited as a composer.