Heavy Metal in Baghdad: your purchase benefits LCC programming
Like the recent book Heavy Metal Islam
, also out in 2008, this documentary opens up a whole new perspective on Iraq and the Middle East. Writing for Filmcritic.com
, Chris Barsanti comments: "If there was any doubt that music feeds the soul, it has been put to rest by Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi's frustrating but nearly impossible to forget 'Heavy Metal in Baghdad'
. If popular perceptions are to be believed, then every Iraqi citizen would be a worshipful Muslim who hates all pop culture (particularly anything emanating from America) with a fervent zeal. Not so the Metallica-loving lads of Acrassicauda, the heavy-metal quartet from Baghdad portrayed with true concern and understanding in a documentary that succeeds (almost in spite of its filmmakers) in illustrating the necessity of art in even the worst situations.
New York Post
critic V.A. Musetto weighs in: "Just when I thought the war in Iraq had been examined from every possible angle, along comes 'Heavy Metal in Baghdad'
, a fascinating documentary on the country's only heavy metal band, Acrassicauda. Hipster filmmakers Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti follow the four young men who make up the band from the days when Saddam Hussein ruled, and they were forced to include a song praising the dictator in their shows, through their struggle to survive the bloody Iraqi civil war, to their self-imposed exile in Syria. Alvi and Moretti risked their lives going to Iraq to film the band, paying $1,500 a day for an entourage of bodyguards (as many as 12 at a time), a translator and two cars. "I don't want my kid to grow up in this situation," says the bass player, Firas. "I'm trying to get out of this country, to go somewhere where I can find peace for me and my family."
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.
In Arabic and English, with subtitles.
Visit the official website. Check out Heavy Metal Islam.