Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band Documentary

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band Documentary

the band
Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko & Garth Hudson of The Band, 1971. Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns.

Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and Martin Scorsese all feature in an upcoming documentary about The Band, titled Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band. The film was inspired by Robertson’s 2016 bestselling memoir, and promises to be a “confessional, cautionary, and sometimes humorous tale of Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music”.

The doco will feature rare archival footage of the influential Canadian quintet, alongside interviews with Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Martin Scorsese, who famously captured the group at their peak in 1976 for The Last Waltz concert film. 

There is no band that emphasizes becoming greater than the sum of its parts than the Band,” Springsteen says in the trailer. “Simply their name: The Band. That was it.”

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band | Official Trailer

The trailer provides a quick overview of the Band’s history, from their days backing Bob Dylan to their breakout debut album, Music From Big Pink to that all-star farewell concert, aptly billed as The Last Waltz one of the most revered performances in music history. For the show, Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel were joined by an all-star group of musicians, including Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters and Neil Young, among others. The evening was captured on film by director Martin Scorsese and released theatrically in April 1978. It was one of the greatest going-away parties of all time and is still considered by many to be the greatest concert film ever made. 

The Band & Eric Clapton “Further On Up The Road” | The Last Waltz

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band initially premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in US theatres next month on February 21st. An Australian release date is yet to be announced.  

“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band is a moving story of Robertson’s personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music, together making their mark on music history.”

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