We Are X: Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC We Are X: Review

A clashing orchestra of heartache, triumph and the absolute will to live and die on stage.

We are X is a fascinating documentary – encompassing classical music, rock n roll, the mixing of cultures and deep personal tragedy. So goes the story of Yoshiki X and his revolutionary band X Japan, and the trials of a man constantly struggling but also constantly overpowering his demons –  told primarily though in depth interviews and archival footage.

We Are X is critically one of the most successful rock bands ever. And yet the West has barely heard of them. I certainly hadn’t. But 10 minutes in to this documentary I fell down this emotional landslide which showcases personal heartache within the band – including the harrowing story of Toshi, the vocalist, being brainwashed and then escaping a cult. The reunion of these two childhood friends is something that grips you so hard in it’s bittersweet embrace, you’ll be remembering it for a while.

In terms of story, the band is preparing for their reunion show playing at Madison Square Garden, and the doco opens the curtain to what has led them (or nearly derailed them) from this point. Hard-hitting interviews, emotional confrontations and powerfully inspiring messages make this very tasty for the soul. Yoshiki has never given up on his music – his own physical health won’t even stop him. The band has had trials and triumphs – their fanbase is incredibly ardent and uncommonly fanatic, even for a rock band – but it’s Yoshiki and his iron will to play and give his music to the world that makes this film so gruelling, so sad yet so satisfying.



We are X is in UK cinemas on the 2nd March.


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Lauren Turner is an Australian media specialist and keen cinephile. She loves Robert Eggers and can be found at her local offbeat cinema in Melbourne.

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