Review: Confessions to dEUS (2020)

Confessions to dEUS (2020)

Directed by: Fleur Boonman | 80 minutes | music, documentary

In 2019, the Antwerp rock band dEUS celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the masterpiece ‘The Ideal Crash’ with a tour. Fleur Boonman followed the musicians, although this documentary is much more. We see classic tracks, of course, with some archive footage from 1999, but the core concept of this documentary is translating love pain.

Countless fans, as well as the band members themselves, talk about their broken hearts. The reason should be clear: ‘The Ideal Crash’ is an album about a love break. As usual, the author of the lyrics – singer Tom Barman – tells the least about the cause of his pain. You don’t have to: the album is a dramatized – intensified – cry from the heart.

The documentary is not entirely successful; here and there some could have been cut into the talking heads. After all, not everyone is good at talking about breakups, although almost everyone has to deal with it. And people are different of course. One talks emotionlessly about something tragic; the other exaggerates the loss of a childhood sweetheart.

But there’s another fragment of ‘Sister Dew’ or ‘Margarita’ – love ballads with eternal value. The music makes this documentary worthwhile. Barman is great at writing visual songs, but not a great storyteller in everyday life. The band has ended up in its middle years anyway, and the forties of today are a lot calmer than the twenties of then.

Fortunately, dEUS makes ‘music in which you can disappear’, according to a Dutch fan with depressive symptoms. ‘Music helps better than pills’. ‘The Ideal Crash’ offers comfort, and director Boonman tries to communicate this with conviction: she closes the docu in style, with the audience favorite ‘Instant Street’ ending in a manic crescendo.

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