Death Metal Angola

Angola’s 27-year civil war ended in 2002, but the subjects of this 2012 documentary still struggle with having seen the bodies of family and friends decompose in the street. Director Jeremy Xido focuses on a young couple, Sonia Ferreira and Wilker Flores, who find solace in death metal (and black metal to a lesser extent), considered by a small collective of Angolan musicians the most effective way to exorcise the horrors of war. Ferreira and Flores attempt to organize the country’s first rock festival in their hometown, Huambo—no small feat as the scene is still young and struggling to assert itself—and an orphanage run by Ferreira serves as their de facto headquarters. I’ve seen more than enough documentaries about extreme metal that mythologize violent, antisocial behavior; this one shows people using harsh, aggressive music to build a positive community. In Portuguese with subtitles.