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Marijan David Vajda,
Hans Peter Hallwachs
Wacken is not only the name of a small town in the very north of Germany. Every year the largest Heavy Metal festival in Europe is held in that little town counting 1.800 inhabitants. For five days, thousands of freaked out people with long hair and black clothes invade the town to celebrate "W:O:A", "Wacken Open Air".
The film is supposed to be a portrait of the lives of the people from Wacken, what they do for living and how they think about these five days when more than 60.000 (75.000 in 2007) long haired, evil looking "metalheadz" conquer their small untouched world. As I said, it is supposed to be....
The film leaves me with many unused possibilities. Example: There is a girl and her grandmother living in Wacken. Granny tells us about how she was forced to leave Prussia in WW2 and how she came to live in Wacken. In the next scene we see her praying before going to bed, her granddaughter tells us, that she is a very religious woman and she doesn't think very well about the festival and the people. But granny herself is never asked for her opinion by the director.
What do these old people think about rock music and heavy metal? Why does granny find it so bad? What are her worries? What are her fears? What image does she have of all the black clothed people shaking their heads to music that tells stories of murder and blood? The film doesn't ask enough questions.
We get to know many people from the village, but we get to know the surface. The director simply doesn't ask enough questions, she just lets the people talk. Talk about their jobs, their lives as farmers, the stories of their weddings.
But that's nothing special. If I want to hear stories about being forced to walk from Prussia to Germany during WW2, I go visit my grandma. If I want to hear stories about farming, I watch TV-documentaries.
The film is called "Full Metal village", but it makes one mistake: It doesn't confront the village with the metal at all. The special thing about Wacken is the people from that small village being confronted with the biggest metal festival in Europe. Wacken is an average German village with average German people who have average jobs and average hobbies, the film shows the everyday life in an average German village. I don't want to hear stories of their cows and what the difference between a cow and a calf is. I want to know: What do these average farmers think about the festival?
The film didn't give any interesting answers. Because it didn't ask any questions at all.
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