Germany, 2014, color, 95 min., German and English with English subtitles
Director/Screenplay: Norbert Heitker Producers: Tomas Erhart, Stefan Schubert With: Anthrax, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Henry Rollins, Motörhead, Rammstein Sales: Autlook Filmsales, Vienna
3D Screening at the Goethe-Institut Washington
Maybe you’ve heard of Wacken Open Air, the world’s largest heavy metal festival, now in its 25th year. No? Well, you’ll certainly hear it during this special 3D screening of a film whose tag line immodestly and quite accurately proclaims it “Louder Than Hell.” In the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, outside the town that gives the festival its name, some 80,000 entirely peaceful but undeniably distinctive fans gather during three days in August every year to celebrate decibels, drink and die Szene. Armed with six photography units and 18 stereoscopic 3D cameras, music video veteran Norbert Heitker and his crew descended on the 2013 event to film participants and festival-goers alike. Performances and interviews from the likes of headliners Anthrax, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Motorhead, Rammstein and others are peppered with social commentary from D.C.’s own Henry Rollins and updates on individual fan adventures. The sense of community felt by virtually everyone Heitker encounters is an eye-opener for the uninitiated, as is the mud.