Shihad: Beautiful Machine

Shihad: Beautiful Machine


Documentary on legendary Kiwi group Shihad, chronicling their two-decade rise to greatness. From their roots in Wellington's '90s punk metal scene, Shihad's rock dreams faced wild days in Berlin, the tragic overdose of their manager, the international explosion of their The General Electric album and the infamous American name-change. This "all-access pass" doco charts the journey, and the bands fight with fame, the industry and finally – itself.... More

This is the feature debut from Sam Peacocke, who made the award-winning short film Manurewa and has directed a handful of Shihad's music videos.Hide

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Flicks Review

An impressively thorough and entertaining examination of the life (thus far) of one of New Zealand’s most popular bands, Shihad: Beautiful Machine may nevertheless have limited appeal for anyone not interested in Shihad to begin with.... More

The film takes a clear-eyed view of all aspects of the band’s history, most fascinatingly with regards to their ill-fated attempts to break America. The band members are all admirably frank about this and other topics, and the film brings to light certain conflicts that haven’t been discussed at length before – like guitarist Phil Knight’s drinking problem and the band’s increasing sense of isolation from lead singer Jon Toogood while in America.

The dysfunction makes for a great drama, even if it never quite elevates Beautiful Machine to the level of such iconic band docos as Some Kind of Monster or Anvil! The Story of Anvil. As a celebration of a band and their music, however, it cannot be faulted. It also does a good job of acknowledging the central role the band members’ significant others played in the life of the band.

Assessing whether or not this will play well to non-fans is difficult – I was caught up in every moment, but I love Shihad and I love documentaries about New Zealand subjects. If you have even the slightest interest in either of these topics, be sure to see this movie.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Ken-Burns superstar

I've seen Shihad about 10 times but the doco told me things I didn't know. Genius bit of rock and roll

Looks and sounds incredible.. it's beyond a rock film, this is personal. Well worth seeing.

BY Benno nobody

Every red blooded Kiwi music fan should see this film. Rock on lads!

The Press Reviews

  • This one's an absolute must-see for Shihad fans. But those who can take or leave the band will still find the documentary an absorbing couple of hours. Full Review

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