Sunday, September 6, 2009

Keep On Rockin' In the Free World... We Salute You

I've always been a bit disappointed that documentaries aren't more readily available from the movie industry. I recently had the privilege of watching "Heavy Metal in Baghdad."

I thought the metal scene where I live was bad. Apparently it is even worse in Iraq (more specifically, in Baghdad). There was only a single metal band in the entire country-that is, before all the members of this band moved to Turkey-and the documentary was just going there to chronicle their experiences and interview them.

It goes without saying that the situation in Iraq, under Saddam's regime and since then, is bad. Which goes a long ways toward explaining why the metal scene is essentially non-existent there.

The Black Scorpions, as the band is called in English (actually, their official name is in Latin, as opposed to Arabic or whatever language/s is spoken in Iraq), cut their teeth by listening to Metallica and Slayer. And the Metallica influence is very clear on their song "Massacre" which is available for listen on their MySpace page. It deals with the massacre of civilians in war torn Iraq.

My heart was really going out to the guys in this band as I was watching the documentary. All they wanted to do was to be free and express themselves through their music. For example, the bassist repeatedly complained that they were not able to grow long hair in Iraq even after the capture of Saddam.

On a more personal note, a young man (not in The Black Scorpions but friends with them) in the documentary was asked if he believes in God. Of course, that whole area is saturated with Islam and heavy metal gets a bad rap sometimes from certain religious folks. In America from ultra-orthodox Protestants but in Iraq from certain Muslims. So the interviewer discussed belief in God (presumably Allah) with the band. They all are Muslims, I think. At any rate, the gentleman not in the band said that he did believe in God but it is hard because He allowed the suffering in Iraq. Why didn't He intervene to stop it, the young man asked. You see how practical apologetics can be? Of course, a person in his shoes probably isn't looking for analytic philosophy but compassion, emotional support, and prayer. Nevertheless, if he was looking for solid intellectual answers, they are there. Thoughtful reflection on, and response to, the problem of evil is practically synonymous with apologetics.

At any rate, the program, produced by MTV, was eye-opening and informative. And I think any fan of harder music might wish to check out the movie if they are able to get ahold of it. Not for the kiddies though as there is mature content including much swearing.

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