Heavy Metal in Baghdad (2007)

Heavy Metal in Baghdad (2007)

Directed by: Suroosh Alvi, Eddy Moretti

Starring: Firas Al-Lateef, Suroosh Alvi, Marwan Reyad

I watched this movie because… well, because it had the phrase “Heavy Metal” in the title and I like that. Little did I know that this was actually a fairly touching documentary about the state of things in Iraq during the recent war from a street-level, normal person’s viewpoint. Also there’s stuff about a band.

The film follows the career of the only metal band in Iraq, Acrassicauda. It details the lack of freedom they had under Saddam Hussein (they had to include a song about how great he was in every set or not be allowed to play, among other things) and the very real danger they faced during the war. Eventually the band all moved out of Iraq to Syria, where the producers of this movie eventually paid for them to record a demo (and it’s pretty good).

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this movie, mostly just minor stuff about the problems encountered by average people trying to be in a band in Iraq. Also, it’s crazy how dangerous it was (or may still be, I have no idea) for normal Americans trying to visit a warzone for a confused documentary about a metal band. That’s the thing, the interesting stuff is presented in a really chaotic fashion, following more of a chronological structure than one dictated by different points (as documentaries usually are), and as such its points get garbled or lost along the way. Still, pretty well worth it.

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