SXSW 2016 Film Review: We Are X

SXSW 2016 Film Review: We Are X

We Are X immerses you into a life you never knew existed, exquisitely depicting a true story of prominence, despair, and heavy metal.

Music is a tool that fuels millions of lives. Whether music is your career, passion, or just helps you escape life for a moment, we all have at least a song or two that really impacts us. We Are X is a Documentary Film about X Japan, a heavy metal band from Japan with a following unlike any other. It all starts with Yoshiki, the founder of the band who also writes and composes the majority of the music and lyrics; his passion fueled by the suicide of his father when he was a young boy. Yoshiki teamed up with his childhood friend, Toshi, to form X Japan, and just like that, We Are X was formed. The band grew to large success in Japan, fueled by Yoshiki and Toshi, but also with the aide of star members Taiji and Hide, two men who would both end their life in a tragic way.

X Japan wasn’t satisfied with massive success in Japan alone, and We Are X Chronicles their trials and tribulations leading up to arguably their biggest performance ever, at Madison Square Garden. Director Stephen Kijak intelligently pieces this story together, diving deep into the band members person lives, all while keeping the flow of the film headed toward their big moment. My one disagreement with Kijak’s style is that we didn’t see enough of the concert at the end of the film. We are to believe this is the biggest moment in the band’s history, and shown their preparations, along with bits and pieces of their performance, however it would have been nice to see their final song in full length, simply to drive home the importance of that moment.

We Are X is intriguing in that, even if you’ve never heard of the band, as I hadn’t, you feel an intimate connection with the group, specifically Yoshiki. Their pain transcends into their music, and you can almost immediately understand that after only a few scenes of the film. It is extraordinary that Kijak is able to form that connection with the viewer, especially since many of the people to see the film will be of vastly different cultures than the band themselves. To my great surprise, this was my favorite documentary at SXSW this year, it is genuinely enjoyable.

Official Trailer:

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1 Comment on "SXSW 2016 Film Review: We Are X"

  • よっちゃんへ

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