Stadium-straddling electro-pop titans Depeche Mode are largely viewed in their home country as faintly embarrassing ’80s throwbacks, but the rest of world has a very different view. In America, in eastern Europe, even in Iran they’re venerated as tragic heroes, their self-serious synthesised emo-pomp speaking directly to generations of drifting adolescents and doom-laden goth kids. Mercifully, this fascinating documentary never attempts to persuade viewers of the band’s greatness, preferring to let the faith and devotion of their global fanbase speak for itself. Parallels are subtly drawn between the fans’ fanaticism and religious, even fascist tendencies (a Romanian fan: ‘Back in 1990, all the ugly people liked folk… all the good-looking people were into Depeche Mode’), but Deller never labours the point. For Mode fans this movie will speak directly to their obsession, but those who find the whole thing just a bit ridiculous should find themselves equally entertained.
Friday November 27 2009
Jeremy Deller, Nicholas Abrams