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Just got back from the globe premier at TIFF 07 and I am impressed. Like the gun store adventure from the "Vice Guide" Eddy and Suroosh drew out the necessary problems behind the basic topics matter. I found the adventure of the young boys and their evolution through extreme turmoil delivered in a raw manner that one does not receive through main stream media. The raw look at life and oppression that continues from the old Saddam regime into the fresh show day Iraq is shocking. The film is shown through few time periods in the bands life and how testing melody is the only thing that keeps them going. The band members that are interviewed are well spoken, articulate, and emotional. That emotion keeps coming back in the movie and each happiness in their lives is tempered by the Iraq fight to such a degree that the real impact of what's event over there is just actually becoming clearer. For me the real role and impact of the mass store main-stream media has been exposed and for that reason alone I would recommend watching "Heavy Metal in Baghdad". I also look forward to any subsequent sequels or Vice production regarding the lives of the band members but especially Tony and his pupil Mike.Thank you Eddy and Suroosh.
I found myself surprised to like a movie about massive metal this much. Just private taste, but it's not melody that usually speaks to me.But this tragic, darkly comic, oddly triumphant and endearing look at a group of young Iraqis trying to hold their band together and enjoy - in the middle of the insanity of war, and then soon in exile in Syria - and also seeing the crazy bravery of the two young guys trying to create a movie about them - has stuck in my head with very fond feelings. By making the fight and it's results this private I came away with a much deeper understanding than I might have from a movie trying to cover the entire wide landscape. I wasn't quite as moved on a second viewing with friends, but it's still a movie I think of with tremendous warmth, and suggest whether you like massive metal or not.
I too saw this explosive high-risk movie at the Toronto movie festival, the day after Abu Risha, head of the Anbar Awakening Council in the supposedly "pacified" region of Iraq's notorious "Sunni triangle" was blown up ten days after meeting with President George Bush.In their first venture into feature-length guerrilla film-making, Moretti, head of VICE Films, and Alvi, co-founder of counterculture VICE magazine, follow what has happened to the members of "Acrassicauda" (Latin for black scorpion), Iraq's first and only massive metal band. They note that the band had played four concerts during the Saddam era by including a song praising the tyrant which everyone knew was an ironic fake. Since the Coalition "liberation" of 2003, they have played only two, the last in the summer of 2005. Since then all have joined the ranks of the over two million Iraqi refugees (another nearly two million are internally displaced), over a million alone in neighboring Syria. The U.S. during this time has agreed less than 500.Shot by the intrepid duo in high-definition video during two risky trips to Baghdad and one to Damascus, the movie includes candid interviews with band members, all apolitical and non-sectarian, speaking obscenity-laced English road talk. But then, their case is obscenely perilous and unfree. It is not surprising for one to say: "(Expletive) this democracy", when their experience is one of a worsening life in hell followed by a "less than zero" subsistence exile in Damascus.After the screening, the filmmakers informed the audience that band members had been refused Canadian visas to come to the festival, that they were facing expulsion back to Iraq from Syria by October 10, and appealed for donations through the site http://www.heavymetalinbaghdad.com/ to support them relocate.
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