Don’t Go Gentle is a film about finding strength in vulnerability. It journeys through Bristol band IDLES’ determination, friendship and adversity as they fight for a place in a divided socio-political environment, unexpectedly inspiring and unifying an international community along the way.
In a time when the ground is shifting beneath our feet, where open communication and truthful reflection are more vital than ever, we journey with lead singer Joe Talbot and the band as they tear across stages, knockdown stereotypes and empower fans to face down uncomfortable realities and talk about mental health.
Originally released via streaming platforms for a brief time in June 2020, now the film has made it to the big screen via docnrollfestival.com. In association with the IDLES fan group, The AF GANG, the film be shown widely across 50+ UK cinemas from 2 July. Ahead of that, there will be several preview screenings with Q&As from the filmmakers — see flyer below.
Don’t Go Gentle echoes Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”, an impassioned poem encouraging the reader not to give into death without a fight. Gentle is not a word we would typically associate with IDLES, but as Thomas’s poem emplores, death may be inevitable, but it can be battled against. It is this attitude that drives IDLES, who take on the government and society, challenging them to do better. Their sound and lyrics aren’t all about an uprising, however. More than anything, they encourage their fans to love themselves, admit their vulnerabilities and openly discuss their struggles with mental health and addiction.
Don’t Go Gentle begins with their formation in Bristol by frontman Joe Talbot and bassist Adam Devonshire. Their story progresses by recruiting lead guitarist Mark Bowen, drummer Jon Beavis and guitarist Lee Kiernan. With debut album Brutalism in 2017 paving the way to 2018’s Joy as an Act of Resistance, and last years Ultra Mono, the band are leading the good fight with an ever-increasing army of fans around the world.
This film is as much about them as it is about the band. In fact, the AF GANG’s powerful display of unity and community help make the band what they are. They wouldn’t exist without each other, and they both know and appreciate it. It’s a beautiful thing.
So what better way to celebrate the film and the love than to hang out with your fellow IDLES fans at the cinema? Check the listing for where you can see the documentary and when. Additional locations are being added all the time, so check back daily!
Watch the trailer for Don’t Go Gentle: A Film About IDLES
Director: Mark Archer | Producer: Andy Stewart | Executive Producer: Sara Archer | Associate Producer/Photographer: Lindsay Melbourne | Editor: Tom Weller | Sound Design: Jeremy Rychard Synder | Colour Grade: Dan Moran | Graphics: Adam Norfolk