Film

Eagles of Death Metal Face Tragedy and Trauma in HBO’s New Documentary

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New HBO documentary Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends) revisits the night gunmen opened fire during a concert at the Bataclan in Paris — and, later, shifts its focus to the band’s eventual return to the City of Light.

In his second documentary, actor-turned-director Colin Hanks showcases a rocker bromance for the ages: that between EoDM members Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme. During their decades-long friendship, Homme has helped Hughes out of various difficulties, be they high school bullies, a broken marriage, or, now, this unthinkable tragedy. Although Homme wasn’t there during the attack (he was working with Queens of the Stone Age, one of his other bands), he helps Hughes pick up the pieces afterward.

With testimony from the rest of the band and a handful of survivors, Hanks’s film recounts the horror of the attacks and what it was like hiding under bodies or waiting it out in a bathroom. Concertgoers describe the night in grisly detail, and Hughes barely holds back tears behind his signature rose-colored glasses. This poignant documentary champions the curative powers of rock ‘n’ roll — and also reminds us: Always know your exits.

Hanks doesn’t go into detail about the attackers or their motivations. He also doesn’t spotlight Hughes’s politics or controversial theories about that night (like the suggestion that the venue’s security team may have known about the attacks in advance), save for a particularly uncomfortable interview with French media before the band’s return show. Instead, Nos Amis focuses on healing and moving forward.

Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)

Directed by Colin Hanks

HBO Films

Opens February 10, Cinema Village

Premieres February 13, HBO

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