Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon

Film, Documentaries
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Kings Of Leon.jpg

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Perhaps the most unexpected thing about this rock doc about Kings of Leon is the way its director, Stephen C. Mitchell, plays down the group’s stardom and stadium feats in favour of presenting a surprisingly fascinating survey of ordinary God-worshipping, devil-fearing Pentecostal folk from the backwoods of Oklahoma. Tying it to the rags-to-riches tale of one of the biggest rock outfits in the world is simply a bonus for fans of the band.

Kings of Leon is comprised of three brothers from the outskirts of Talihina, Oklahoma – lead singer Caleb, drummer Nathan, bassist Jared – with cousin Matthew on lead guitar. The documentary tags along for a family reunion and uses the group’s visit as a springboard to illustrate their roots.

And what funky, impoverished roots. Imagine ‘Deliverance’ meets ‘Winter’s Bone’ and you’ll have some idea of the kind of characters from which the group spawned. Religion runs through the veins of the entire family, and it’s this element that proves most intriguing: not just the group’s religious background (illustrated by moments of prayer and family footage of the young band members going through a euphoric religious ceremony, but also the conflict of interest singer Caleb feels since having taken to playing ‘the devil’s music’.

The slice-and-dice editing makes it a little difficult to work out who’s who (some of the southern drawl accents, too, are difficult to distinguish), but for the most part this works as both a decent documentary on a popular rock band and a look at rustic life in the Bible Belt. Fear not, fans, there’s still a decent chunk of live and studio footage to keep you happy. But this is a documentary for anyone.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Duration:
87 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Stephen C. Mitchell