‘We Are X’ Review: An Interesting Portrait of Life and Music

Indie | Friday 24th February 2017 | Francesco

We are X is the most interesting documentary of the season.

We Are X is a documentary produced by Manga Entertainment, that explores the lives of the members of the legendary Japanese rock band X JAPAN. The 90-minutes long movie delves into the personal issues of these men who are idols in Japan even after their split as a band twenty years ago.

X Japan had a huge role in the Japanese musical revolution, but the documentary is not focused on this specific aspect. It is centered on Yoshiki who wanted to become the new David Bowie and got a god-like respect from fans.

The most interesting part of We are X is the intense analysis of Yoshiki’s feelings. They are capable of showing his grief, his inner turmoil in a sensitive and authentic way. He speaks of his father’s death, he describes his suicidal attempts and it feels like you are one of his friends and you are having a drink together.

We have so many perspectives on Yoshiki: Kijak has even interviewed his mother. Death is at the center of the discussion, Yoshiki is obsessed with “escaping from his life”. His pain has so many manifestations, it is physical and emotional pain.

The director Stephen Kijak doesn’t attempt to celebrate him, he wants to depict the band as a group of ordinary human beings who live and suffer as all of us.

It’s an intense exploration of many themes as death, fame, friendship and the film allows you to be familiar with their music, even if you are not a fan of the band.  There is also space for memories: Yoshiko tells us the story of how the band came together, as a family and then how this fell apart.

Is Kijak depicting Yoshiki's personal life? The answer is no. We don’t know anything about his love life, we are given what Yoshiki wants us to know.

There are so many documentaries about music, singers, bands but We are X goes beyong the formula and shines because of this intelligent way of telling its story. Have a look at We Are X preview: