Extreme Nation documentary review

★★★

Directed by: Roy Dipankar

Written by: Roy Dipankar

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Poster for Extreme Nation

In his second documentary, Dipankar examines the history and progress of underground metal music in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


Dipankar and his film crew travelled around these countries for five years, interviewing and filming underground metal artists and documenting their performances. The result was an informative and interesting insight into the underground metal music world of these countries. It explores why people choose to follow this kind of music and how various artists and promoters have contributed to its expansion. Some of them state that this music is an escape for them from all the issues that affect them, such as politics and religion.


Just to clarify: underground music is considered to be music that is not being legitimately commercialized, as opposed to mainstream music.


The film contains many interviews that show vocalists, guitarists, bassists and promoters as they talk about their passion for underground metal and a great deal of footage of bands performing in front of crowds. The documentary also explores the political issues that their countries deal with, and therefore includes news footage of large crowds of people protesting, and (just to let sensitive viewers know) brief sequences of people being hurt and graphic injury. As religion is also part of this project, there are also religious ceremonies.


Unsurprisingly, since this documentary focuses on metal music, there is plenty of that to be heard. It is experienced when various bands are performing and that pretty much takes place throughout.


Animation sequences are also present, during which a pentagram moves from one location to another, over a map of India and the surrounding countries. The pentagram symbolizes the film crew as they travel and it is a rather clever and creative technique.


Generally, the film does an effective job in presenting the level that this music has reached in these countries and it appears that it has gained many devoted followers. The performers and promoters come across as likeable and intelligent individuals. The film also provides an insight into life in those countries, by addressing their religions and politics.

#JasonKnight