It seems we take music for granted in our current times, which is easy enough to do since we are so innundated with endless music from a seemingly endless stream of artists. With the way things are these days, it might be difficult to stop and imagine a time or a place where music could be much, much more scarce -- a place where music and the artists who create it are valued and treasured so much more than they are here and now. One of these long lost places has been captured in the great documentary on music fandom The Posters Came From The Walls, in which diehard Depeche Mode (DM) superfans look to their heroes for meaning in their lives. The documentary's subjects are primarily in second world nations, fans who bonded with the music of DM in the midst of political turbulence.
The feature length documentary about DM fans around the world was co-directed by Nick Abrahams and Jeremy Deller. In the documentary, the directors spend some time in the US and UK interviewing DM fans, but the flick is at its best when capturing DM fans in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, where DM's music has taken on a whole new meaning since the 1980's, when it was not only hard to find but illegal and only available via much coveted bootleg tapes. From that point DM's music became a sort of freedom soundtrack for many of these fans. DM's Dave Gahan’s birthday falls on May 9th, which is Russia’s National Day. In St. Petersburg DM fans celebrate the date as “Dave Day” every year.
Interestingly, as pointed out by Nick Abrahams in the Amoeblog video interview above, DM are not nearly as big stars nowadays in their native Britain as they remain overseas. Although the film has been around for two years it is still actively making the film festival rounds and was screened at this past weekend's Branchage Film Festival in Jersey, where the interview with Abrahams above was conducted. As noted by the co-director of this fascinating and at times touching documentary about fandom, the film is not yet out on DVD. But when it is, be sure to pick it up at Amoeba. More info on the film here.