The IDLES, as compelling a band as they are, manage to be a side story in their own documentary. Don’t Go Gentle, though still focusing on the Bristol-based band, finds an even stronger story in the community the band has created around them.
The AF Gang, which sprouted around the band, is an online community founded by music photographer and fan Lindsay Melbourne four years ago after interactions with fellow fans at gigs. The 30,000-plus members have evolved from simply being a board that talks about the band, to a reliable community that fosters love, acceptance, and compassion. Which is a wonderful juxtaposition for band’s music, which on first blush just sounds confrontational and defiant, but is really about vulnerability, individuality and compassion.
There is still plenty of background on the band’s founding here told through the members and longtime friends. There are also plenty of frank discussions by the band, covering everything from politics to addiction to losing a parent.
It’s a fairly comprehensive look at a group not known by millions, but that is loved deeply by those who do follow them. The band discusses not only their upbringing and personal relationships but are pretty open about the inter-band relationships as well.
Years in the making, the documentary captures both a chaotic and cathartic time for the IDLES, as they release and tour behind their first album, the critically lauded Brutalism. Don’t Go Gentle, directed by Mark Archer, was screened across the U.K. and Ireland this summer and is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.