Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Havi Mital in Baghdad

DVD - 2008
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"Heavy Metal in Baghdad is a documentary feature film that follows the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda (Latin for a deadly black scorpion native to Iraq) from the fall of Saddam Hussein to their escape from Iraq."--Container.
Publisher: [Brooklyn, NY] : VBS IPTV ; New York, NY : Arts Alliance America, [2008]
Edition: Widescreen
Description: 1 videodisc (84 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet
Branch Call Number: DVD 782.42166 Acr


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Jul 14, 2013

This documentary is heavy -- no pun intended. I'm not a heavy metal fan, but I could see what the music meant to the band members: freedom, an outlet for rage, a chance to engage in their art. I felt that the main vocalist/lyricist had a great grasp of the heavy metal pathos: letting out rage at the world, at the bombs and kidnappings and snipers and the constant fear of life in Iraq. Then later, after they moved (with their wives and kids) to Syria, the rage became about having to live without prospects for the future: working hard and making next to nothing. One of the guitarists, Tony, was so good that even the American making the documentary was impressed, as was I. I have no way of judging the bassist or the drummer. While in Iraq, the violence around them made these young men (age 23-27) feel as if they were about to die at any time, but at the end of the documentary, when they were in Syria watching footage of Iraq, they felt a powerful sense of homesickness and they wanted to be back home -- their real home, a Baghdad without violence where they would be treated like native sons, not like sub-humans. You could see despair engulf each one of them; some of them cried. There is something piercing about watching an adult moved to tears.
Their English was learned from bootleg heavy metal tapes and American movies -- sadly, I don't think they quite understood how to use the word 'f'k.' They seemed to use it as something to say to stall for time while they're trying to figure out the right English words for what they want to say next.
Definitely recommended, even if you don't know or like Heavy Metal.

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