Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Rockabul' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
It's SWITCH's 8th anniversary! Click here now to join the celebrations and win huge prizes!x
review, Rockabul, Rockabul, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Travis Beard, Documentary film rating

ROCKABUL

★★★

CHANGING MINDS THROUGH MUSIC

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
10th June 2018

Heavy metal music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but imagine living somewhere it was banned. And not just heavy metal - pop, rock, country, R&B, hip hop, almost all the music that you’ve listened to in your life. That’s the situation in Afghanistan, where, at best, most music is frowned upon for religious reasons. From this strange situation comes an unlikely friendship between one Australian and a group of Afghans who want to play heavy metal.

Two brothers and two of their cousins come together in secrecy to form the band District Unknown, their love of playing music far greater than the risk of persecution they face. We watch them grow from 2010 with their first extremely awful rehearsal, through to their first (self-confessed) terrible performance, all the way to them becoming minor international celebrities as they form Afghanistan’s only metal band. Through their successes and struggles, a constant danger lurks - not just for their artistic endeavours, but from the precarious presence of the Taliban.

'ROCKABUL' TRAILER

All of this is captured by Travis Beard, an Australian journalist and musician living in Kabul, and close friend of the band. Through Travis’ perspective, we receive a candid insight into these artists, from the simple joy of playing music to their daily struggles. At times, they’re forced to hide their identities, both in the streets and on stage, and as their profile grows, so too does the danger. But we also see them grow as artists - from those early rehearsals where their self-taught skills are nothing short of painful to their biggest performance in front of thousands in India, it’s an inspiring journey to watch.

The documentary itself is a very personal experience, and is largely shot by Travis alone. As such, there are limitations with the look and style of the film - though that’s absolutely forgivable for a documentary captured by a one-man band in Afghanistan. There are some nicely-shot interview setups, as well as some truly stunning moments of Kabul life. What really makes this documentary work is the candidness from every band member - there’s conflict, love, anxiety, jubilation and, possibly most surprisingly, a lot of swearing. The unhindered honesty that’s on display is the real heart of this story.

Through their successes and struggles, a constant danger lurks - not just for their artistic endeavours, but from the precarious presence of the Taliban.

In a city where a deserted tank is a plaything for children, danger is everywhere and happiness is scarce. The ability for District Unknown to have brought elation to not only its band members but younger generations of Afghanis is revelatory. Though there’s nothing flashy about this documentary, it’s the fascinating story of a collection of people slowly changing minds through the power of creativity.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 16/05/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 17m
DIRECTOR: Travis Beard
www.Rockabul.com
RockabulTheFilm
RockabulTheFilm
RockabulTheFilm
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
SWITCH's 8th Anniversary - Come celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
TRENDINGWIN SWITCH'S 8TH ANNIVERSARYCome celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
The Angry Birds Movie 2 - A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure for the whole family
TRENDINGWIN THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure for the whole family
Freaks - A post-apocalyptic sci-fi mystery
TRENDINGWIN FREAKSA post-apocalyptic sci-fi mystery
Finding Farideh - An emotional & moving documentary for Iran's Oscar submission
TRENDINGFINDING FARIDEHAn emotional & moving documentary for Iran's Oscar submission
Playing with Fire - Put out this flaming mess
TRENDINGPLAYING WITH FIREPut out this flaming mess
Marriage Story - Simply extraordinary
TRENDINGMARRIAGE STORYSimply extraordinary
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
The Queen's Corgi - Barking up the wrong tree
TRENDINGTHE QUEEN'S CORGIBarking up the wrong tree
The Wild Goose Lake - Supremely stylish neon-noir
TRENDINGTHE WILD GOOSE LAKESupremely stylish neon-noir
What Will Become Us - The man behind an iconic Australian brand
TRENDINGWHAT WILL BECOME USThe man behind an iconic Australian brand
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Ask Dr Ruth - A documentary on 90th birthday parties, Nazi Germany and sex
TRENDINGASK DR RUTHA documentary on 90th birthday parties, Nazi Germany and sex
Frozen 2 - Elsa and Anna return with the magic (mostly) intact
TRENDINGFROZEN 2Elsa and Anna return with the magic (mostly) intact
The Irishman - Kissing Scorsese’s ring (again)
TRENDINGTHE IRISHMANKissing Scorsese’s ring (again)
The Addams Family - They're altogether boring, the Addams Family
TRENDINGTHE ADDAMS FAMILYThey're altogether boring, the Addams Family
Safe Spaces - Emotional family drama weighed down by problematic sub-plot
TRENDINGSAFE SPACESEmotional family drama weighed down by problematic sub-plot
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us