Rock for rock or rock for money? That is the question in this documentary about three young and black metalheads.
Rock for rock or rock for money? That is the question in this documentary about three young and black metalheads. First Look

A band of 13-year-olds gets caught in the gears of the star-making machinery in Darkon director Luke Meyer's empathetic and compelling documentary, which opens today at Northwest Film Forum. Power trio Unlocking the Truth, three black kids from Brooklyn, shred like Death by way of Metallica. The way they see it, fame is theirs for the taking. When it arrives, no one will make fun of Malcolm for wearing nail polish again. If he's a persuasive rocker, his bespectacled band mates, Jarad and Alec, look more like future astrophysicists. When they post a live video that garners over a million hits, gap-toothed producer Alan Sacks comes calling, and the culture clash begins. The kids are from working-class stock, while Alan is a showbiz vet who meditates daily. He boasts about his work with the Jonas Brothers, except his new clients are cut from different cloth, other than that he finds them equally "safe." Soon, Sony offers a five-album deal, and the boys are playing SXSW and Coachella. Sacks also encourages them to add vocals, which isn't their strong suit. From there, it all goes downhill, not least because Malcolm dislikes his ideas, Jarad thinks he’s "just in it for the money," and Alec would rather play Grand Theft Auto. As he puts it, the video game allows you to "live a life before you actually live it." And maybe that's better for kids than indentured servitude to the corporate ogre. I can't imagine a better companion piece to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Metallica-on-the-rocks documentary, Some Kind of Monster.

Support The Stranger