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critics consensus

Despite being a Gonzo-esque rockumentary following the fortunes of Iraq's one and only heavy metal band, Acrassicauda, Heavy Metal is actually a moving and impassioned account of the middle-east crisis. Read critic reviews

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Heavy Metal in Baghdad Photos

Movie Info

Filmmakers Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi risk their lives as they travel to Baghdad to interview Acrassicauda, Iraq's only heavy metal band. When they arrive, they find a group of spirited but worn-down young men whose lives have been torn apart by the violence on the streets of Baghdad. Many of their friends have either fled the country or died. Unable to book shows in their homeland, the bandmates seek refuge in Damascus, Syria, where they attempt to rebuild their band and their lives.

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Critic Reviews for Heavy Metal in Baghdad

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (4)

  • It feels like a spoof, yet this documentary, which follows the fortunes of a monumentally rubbish Iraqi band called Acrassicauda, is for real.

    September 12, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Though they struggle to build a fan base, and end up seeking refuge in Syria, their dreams persist, still blazing fiercely at the close of this chastening and inspiring film.

    September 12, 2008 | Full Review…
  • This ill-starred four-piece are the heroes of a flawed, fascinating documentary, shot on digital video by two excitable gonzo-esque journalists from Vice magazine.

    September 12, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • You mourn the wasted opportunities to explore a culture in which the ultimate rebellion is to copy America's corporate rock.

    September 12, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The guerrilla-movie-making ethic of the directors is reflected in the band members, who sport goatees and speak excellent, hipster/metalhead-inflected American English.

    September 12, 2008 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…
  • The film's at its strongest when Moretti and Alvi make it to Baghdad, but it suffers from a focusing too much on the music and not enough on the band's circumstances.

    September 12, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Heavy Metal in Baghdad

  • Nov 18, 2009
    The daily struggles these guys go through to conquer even the simplest of tasks is incomprehinsible.
    rocko p Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2009
    Good documentary & Acrassicauda kicks ASS!!!
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2009
    Fantastic! This is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Heavy Metal in Baghdad tells the story of Acrassicauda, a metal band from Iraq, whose members are stuck in the middle of Baghdad and the Civil War that is ripping the country apart. Through all the danger, pain, and death these guys take there love of Metal, and use it to vent their frustrations about everything going on in their lives. The film offers a very personal, and gut-wrenching look into the plight of the Iraqi as their country has become, Hell on Earth, and even when they do escape Iraq. They are treated like lepers by the world, because they are Iraqi's. This is not only Metal in its purest form, but it is human existence in its purest form. Barely getting by, and unsure of their futures, a group of Iraqi's with a common interest. Try to survive in a world that makes it increasingly harder and harder to live their lives, how they want. YOU GOTTA SEE THIS MOVIE!!!
    Jason R Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2009
    Acrassicauda means 'black scorpion' in latin. It's also the name of the only heavy metal band in Iraq. Needless to say, heavy metal is frowned upon by the fundamentalist authorities, who see their music as a form of Western propaganda. The journey of filmmakers finding this controversial band allows the audience a very unique point of view into the Iraq War. The film is about the effect of the war on the ordinary working people of Iraq. People like you and I who might want to play the music they like, and raise families. They might not be the most talented metal band in the world, but unlike some American musicians who like to boast about how they'd "die for metal", this is one band that looks everyone dead in the eye and means it, and for that, they immediately earn the respect of the entire metal community, not to mention casual viewers worldwide. <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view¤t=HeavyMetal.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/HeavyMetal.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer

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