Heavy Metal in Baghdad Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti

Heavy Metal in Baghdad Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti
Heavy Metal In Baghdad is incredible. Controversial, authentic and investigative, every second of this documentary is amazingly compelling. While Banger Productions’ Global Metal gives a wonderfull, Coles Notes-ish overview of how metal is seen/adored in the Western world, Heavy Metal In Baghdad focuses on the trials and tribulations of one sole band with an extraordinary tale. Throughout the course of an hour-and-a-half, we witness the struggles Acrassicauda, Iraq’s sole metal outfit, must face just to perform their beloved music in a country where kidnappings, murder, bombs, shootings and missile explosions are daily occurrences. Factor in that heavy metal is truly considered "the Devil’s music” by religious zealots and one is shocked by the power, conviction and passion this quartet display. Performing a meagre ten concerts throughout their eight-year history is the result of oppression not inability. The members are talented and driven despite innumerable obstacles. Furthermore, Acrassicauda struggle to escape the dangers of Iraq, only to become refugees in a world where Iraqis are seen as potential terrorists. They must scrape together a living, rehearse in squalor and are rewarded by the occasional show. All the while, a new fight arises: being seen as a bonafide metal band instead of the "tale of refugees who play metal,” as most media refer to them. Rounded out by 45-minute follow-up short film Heavy Metal In Istanbul (one of the countries the band fled to), deleted footage of the documentary crew driving through Baghdad to demonstrate the strict military confines and dangers, as well as live footage of the few shows available, Heavy Metal In Baghdad is gripping and heart-wrenching yet inspiring nonetheless. Regardless of the heavy metal context, North Americans would be wise to see the reality of what is happening outside of our little haven.   (Vice Films)