IDFA - Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
Daniel Roher / CA, 2019 / 100 min.
The five members of the legendary Canadian-American rock group The Band were like brothers. But after 17 years, they called it quits with a lavish farewell concert on November 25th, 1976, at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom.
A relaxed Robbie Robertson, the now 76-year-old former guitarist, songwriter and member of the group, looks back on his own past and that of The Band. At the age of 16, the son of a First Nation Canadian mother and a Jewish father traveled from Canada to the Mississippi Delta, where he got to know the other members of the group.
They backed rockabilly musician Ronnie Hawkins, played with Bob Dylan on a celebrated tour, and developed the style of roots rock that they took around the world to wild acclaim. In 1976, Martin Scorsese captured their farewell concert in his masterful documentary The Last Waltz.
There”s remarkably little old footage of this legendary group, but the impressive lineup of interviewees (including Bruce Springsteen and George Harrison) makes up for that. And then there”s the music, of course. This is very much Robertson”s story—a gift for the many fans.
IDFA - Robbie Robertson: Testimony