Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Laibach is great. This DVD is not.
S. Messerer | Seattle, Washington USA | 04/09/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to the band Laibach for over twenty years and their aesthetic consistency has always impressed me. Even though a couple of the members have become corpulent and have taken "behind the scenes" roles, they are clever enough to mask their epoch by hiring youthful girls to pound snare drums and to partially block the audience's vision of the aging band. While Laibach is getting older their concerts are still worth attending but you may want to think twice before picking up this DVD.
Their third DVD release, Divided States of America is a shameless self-congratulatory promotional piece thinly disguising itself as "a feature documentary by Saso Podgorsek." I always chuckle when watching this type of "filmmaking" because the interviewer will only talk to the people who are going to support his viewpoint; they are careful to exclude anyone who may spoil the position the director is trying to suggest.
The myopic position Saso Podgorsek has taken in his hour-long "documentary" is to show Americans as dumb, confused, illiterate and mega-maniacal. He made a Herculean effort to avoid any positive statements about America and only focused his cameras on those who were nervous and vulnerable in front of a camera. One particularly painful moment was when he interviewed a girl who was so uneasy she became exceedingly inarticulate. What's the point in showing that? The girl was not brainless (though, that's how he probably wanted it to look) it was just that she was anxious. That's a cheap shot many hack documentary filmmakers take.
Another vulgar tactic these amateurs pull is aiming their camera at those they do not get to know or interview; a few scenes we are subjected to watching are seemingly homeless black men walking the street and a sadly obese woman sitting by herself on a park bench. Again, WHAT'S THE POINT? That is a voyeuristic subterfuge many novice photographers and filmmakers deploy but in no way explains the reality of those captured on film.
If you are curious about the band, Laibach, I suggest you purchase the first DVD, A Film From Slovenia; it is a masterpiece that intelligently conveys what Laibach is about or pick up Dr. Alexei Monroe's book, "Interrogation Machine" if you want an intellectual in-depth look into the band. Unfortunately, The Divided States of America seems like a discreditable one-shot joke that some junior high kids came up with while smoking too much reefer.
A Powerful Experience of NSK. A Powerful Experience of Amer
Violaine | Los Angeles, CA | 06/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary is about Laibach's 2004 tour. Although some may feel that this documentary is very anti-American, I actually found it to be full of love and hope for the intelligent people of this country. Much of the footage is meant to showcase the shallow, consumerist, anti-intellectual and God-fearing mentality that currently rules this country, but this is juxtaposed against many interviews with very intelligent and articulate people that offer meaningful discussion of Laibach's art and valid critiques of our current administration and the numbing effect of our popular culture. The very fact that Laibach, in this documentary, gives so much room for these people to voice their opinions and express their concerns shows their compassion. They don't hate America, they just want to promote discussoin and to make people think.
For the fans, there are priceless Laibach moments in this documentary. As can be expected, the Laibach crew never "steps out of character" in this documentrary; there is no interaction with fans or drunken tomfoolery to witness. But there are moments when you get a glimpse of them that you would otherwise never see, such as one moment when the lead singer, decked out in full Laibach regalia, accepts a Christian pamphlet from a lady trying to save his soul. One of the most intimate moments is a brief exchange between the band and feminist musician/opening act Bonfire Madigan; it's a moment where you get to see a lot of mutual respect and cameraderie between the seemingly very-different musicians.
Another wonderful aspect of this documentary is the diversity of the fans that are interviewed. On one end, there was an African-American California hippie with long white dreads, and the other end there was a bald, black-clad white supremacist from Texas. And, of course, you had everythng in between! Fan reactions were as diverse as the fans themselves, and ranged from deep political reverie to orgasmic elation.
As far as eye and ear candy goes, there's plenty of both. An entire concert is also included on the DVD, featuring some very unusual remixes. In particular, "Du Bis Unser" and "Opus Dei" receive very fresh treatments, and the choreography is incredible. I saw their show live when they did this tour, and when I showed this DVD to a friend who could not make it to the show, I felt like the spirit of that night was captured on this DVD.
A great DVD for any Laibach fan, whether you've been a fan for them for one year or for 20!"
LAIBACH : Still Relevant But....
RC Wade | Virginia | 04/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Divided States Of America" is nowhere near as good as "A Film From Slovenia/Occupied Europe NATO Tour 1994 - 1995". The documentary is better as is the concert footage. Laibach's message to America should be heeded where quiet Fascism rules over an imperialistic empire which borders on collapse. The film seems a little contrived and self-congratulatory. I found Laibach's quotes to be the most interesting and thought provoking aspect which shows how intelligent the band is. The concert footage is from Paris and suffers from having such a small screen behind the band. It makes the whole performance seem somewhat small and lacking in power. The encore is the standout here. Life is life and Leibach is Laibach, but I have to rate it 3.5 stars in comparison to the high standard set by their previous work."