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Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Heavy Metal in Baghdad – Haiku review on

As I tweeted when I got home last night, I’m unsure about this film. It’s about Iraq’s ‘Only Heavy Metal Band’, Acrassicauda, and while it gives a rather scarily frank view of life on the ground in Baghad, on occasion it had a strange feeling of unreality to it. From the two music journalists who went to visit the band and didn’t seem to understand what they were getting themselves into, to the occasional shit that came out of the mouth of Firas, the most talkative band member, which sounded very much like the rubbish that other metal band members often come out with, it seemed to be what they people thought they wanted an audience to hear, rather than what they thought. When Dave and I walked out of the tiny box room that is ICA cinema 1, he turned to me and said something along the lines of “It just goes to show that in the end we are all brothers in metal”. While that is a sentiment I share on many occasions with people all over the world, I didn’t quite feel it with the guys from Accrasicauda. The story of the film was great, but all the way through I felt myself questioning the reality of the events – not the greater events in Iraq, but those surrounding the progress of the band, which had a strangely scripted feel to them. It could well just be that the documentary was edited to push a story, but it just felt unreal to me and stopped me from being as invested in the film as I thought I would.

The film was really quite good still, even with my strange reaction to it, and the band themselves weren’t bad when the film was being made and are now even better that they’ve reached Turkey and got some proper practise and recording time in. It’s worth a watch, and is on at the Prince Charles Cinema this Sunday and Tuesday next week. I might even go and see it again to try and find out why I didn’t like it as much as I think I should have.

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