Heavy Metal In Baghdad (2008, Vice Films)
- Main documentary (84 mins)
- Bonus material (88 mins)
(Region 1, NTSC, Total Running Time = 2 hrs 52 mins)
Marwan – Drums
Firas – Bass
Tony – Guitars
Faisal – Lead Vocals & Guitars
Heavy Metal In Baghdad is the story of Iraqi Heavy Metal pioneers Acrassicauda. Directors Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi turned their attention to Acrassicauda based on a magazine article that chronicled the Metal scene in Iraq as the regime of Saddam Hussein fell in 2003. The film follows the band from 2004 through 2007 as they try to find a way to survive and keep their Heavy Metal dreams alive in their war-torn homeland.
The documentary shows a history of the band from their early beginnings in 2000-2001 up until early 2007, depicting not only their struggles as a Metal band but also as human beings. One of the most striking things about the film was the real look inside devastated Baghdad that Alvi & Moretti made sure they captured. Seeing the destruction, danger and despair from a different angle than what we are shown on the U.S. news brought everything down to earth. The band is more than a Metal band, they are just regular people and all they want is to have the freedom to live. Their is a bond among the members and their family that is pure and their only goal is to find a better life somewhere…..all the while missing the country, and family, they left behind. The film follows the band from Iraq to Syria then to Turkey as each new challenge to survival means relocating. Everyday brings new problems, new hassles, in an effort to make a better life. Shows you just how lucky we are here in the U.S.! There is music on this DVD too, it’s not all doom and gloom. Their is footage from various gigs over the years, as well as the band in the studio during their first recording session, makes you remember that this is about a band. These guys love Heavy Metal…..they like to play it, listen to it, and live it.
The basic premise of the film is to show how Acrassicauda has survived with their lives turned inside-out by the war that has ravaged their country for the last few years. The band is more than a band, more than simply Iraqis…..they are people with hopes, dreams, and ambitions and a specific desire to have a better life. I have to give the directors credit for bonding with the band and their families and trying everything they can to help them. This DVD is a step in the right direction for the awareness of the plight of millions of innocent Iraqi people as told through a Heavy Metal band’s survival. Definitely a must see and one of the best Metal documentaries I’ve seen. It’s a bit more political and focused on the effects of the war than on actual music but it is a fascinating and riveting story.
If you go to the Heavy Metal In Baghdad website, there is a link for donations that go directly to the effort to help the band continue their daily survival and quest for a stable life.