Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Acrassicauda (Latin for “Black Scorpion”) is Iraq’s only heavy metal band. Our friends at Vice have been following them for years, and their gripping documentary about the band, Heavy Metal in Baghdad, was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival (in case you missed it, here’s our write up about the festival). Regardless of musical tastes, the band’s story (they formed in 2000, but the film starts in 2003, at the end of Hussein’s regime) is one of struggle typical to many young Iraqis. The band now resides in Syria, and with expiring visas and the Syrian government’s refusal to renew them (not to mention a stack of denied visa applications to other countries) their future is uncertain. Vice has set up a Paypal account to raise money to get them to a safer country. Check out the trailer here.