- Cert: 15
- Details: UK / US / 93mins .
"I didn't see this as a story about a pop group," says Tony Wilson at the top of this documentary and he's not wrong, because Joy Division were something else entirely. Emerging from the chaos of punk, Joy Division offered something different: "Someone wanted to say more than 'fuck you', they wanted to say 'I'm fucked.'" The first two-thirds of the documentary, directed by Scott Walker: 30 Century Man's Grant Gee, are devoted to the rise and rise of this post-punk band from Manchester, their backgrounds, the relationships between the members of the group and the audience. However, just before the 'we've-seen-all-this-before' brigade can mouth off, Joy Division takes a dark turn (it had to, didn't it?) as the final third is given over to Ian Curtis's depression and suicide. It's here that the real documentary comes out to shine, as Gee's camera gets Hook, Sumner and Morris in its sights and won't let them go until they really tackle what his death meant to them. In particular, their regret of how Ian Curtis's descent into depression wasn't spotted: "It was only when Deborah (Curtis's wife) published the lyrics years later that we realised what he was singing." Sometimes it feels like they're on trial: "We were boys, and boys don't talk about those things." The documentary offers something new, too - the recording of Sumner's hypnosis session with Curtis is spine-tingling, with Curtis rambling on about a previous life. For a documentary of talking heads, Joy Division has pace and enough insightfulness to keep it chugging over. A must for fans - but is it too soon after last year's Control, or the perfect time to capitalise on its popularity? Time will tell.
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