Heavy Metal in Baghdad (2008)
Critic 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.
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Critic Reviews for Heavy Metal in Baghdad
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.
The low-budget movie's technical qualities aren't always the best, but considering the conditions under which the filmmakers worked, it's amazing that Heavy Metal in Baghdad was made at all.
The dangers these musicians experience every single day are bound to impact any audience. This is what it really looks like to bang your head against the wall.
More than just another Iraq-doc, Heavy Metal is a surprisingly up-close look at the toll of the war on young people, and how they still have dreams and still want to jam, party and get down.
An intrepid, unlikely and altogether splendid feat of D.I.Y. reportage.
The movie reclaims metal's appeal to the powerless as well as its threat--when you can get shot for wearing a Slipknot T-shirt (talk about "Death, be not proud")... raising those devil horns isn't an empty act of aggression.
Audience Reviews for Heavy Metal in Baghdad
The daily struggles these guys go through to conquer even the simplest of tasks is incomprehinsible.
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!!!
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.
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