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
Join Daniel for the swashbuckling adventure 'Peter Pan' on a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - click here to listen now!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
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Rockabul' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
A Christmas Gift from Bob - A true story of the festive spirit
TRENDINGWIN A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM BOBA true story of the festive spirit
Jallikattu - Visually stunning and absurdly funny sociopolitical critique
TRENDINGJALLIKATTUVisually stunning and absurdly funny sociopolitical critique
The Trouble with Being Born - Controversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
TRENDINGTHE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORNControversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Event Horizon - Revisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
TRENDINGEVENT HORIZONRevisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
Rams - Baaa-ck off
TRENDINGRAMSBaaa-ck off
Event Horizon - Revisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
TRENDINGEVENT HORIZONRevisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
David Fincher, ranked - The darkness and the soul of a legendary filmmaker
TRENDINGDAVID FINCHER, RANKEDThe darkness and the soul of a legendary filmmaker
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Adoration - Mum's the word
TRENDINGADORATIONMum's the word
The Mystery of Henri Pick - A charming literary detective story
TRENDINGTHE MYSTERY OF HENRI PICKA charming literary detective story
Then Came You - Then came the same movie over and over again
TRENDINGTHEN CAME YOUThen came the same movie over and over again
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
David Byrne's American Utopia - One of the greatest concert films ever made
TRENDINGDAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIAOne of the greatest concert films ever made
Then Came You - Then came the same movie over and over again
TRENDINGTHEN CAME YOUThen came the same movie over and over again
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us