Sam Dunn is a 30-year-old anthropologist. He’s also a lifelong metal fan. After years of studying diverse cultures, Sam turns his academic eye a little closer to home and embarks on an epic journey into the heart of heavy metal. His mission: to figure out why metal music is consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned, even while the tribe that loves it stubbornly holds its ground – spreading the word, keeping the faith, and adopting styles and attitudes that go way beyond the music. Sam visits heavy metal landmarks as far flung as L.A.’s Sunset Strip, the dirty streets of Birmingham, and the dark forests of Norway. Along the way, the two sides of Sam Dunn – curious anthropologist and rabid fan – collide, as Sam explores metal’s obsession with sex, religion, violence and death, meets his heroes, and discovers some things about the culture that even he can’t defend. Part social document, part celebration of a misunderstood art form, this documentary is the first of its kind: a chance for metal fans to speak out and a window into a culture that’s far more complex than it seems.
Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, September 2005
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma de Montréal, Canada, October 2005
Bergen International Film Festival, Norway, October 2005
Copenhagen International Film Festival, Denmark, August 2005
Stockholm International Film Festival, Sweden, November 2005
International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands, January-February 2006