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Roger Waters: The Wall Documentary

Nenad Georgievski By

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More than any other incarnation of The Wall, this documentary goes deep into Waters' core motivations as an anti-war activist and social commentator. The concert footage is interspersed with vignettes of Waters going on a pilgrimage to war cemeteries in Europe including the grave of his grandfather who was killed in WWI as well as the memorial in Azano in Italy where his father was killed in 1944. Both his grandfather and his father were killed when their offspring were three months old. There is a moving scene when Waters all in tears reads the letter of condolence signed by the King that his mother received where she was thanked for the sacrifice she has made. In a way, Waters is connecting his grief with the grief of people today who are victims of political, commercial and religious interests. He and his family were also a victim of foul plays by politicians that resulted in two WW. The scene when bombers drop various religious symbols and company logos carries powerful messages of direct causes of wars and conflicts, or the modern day aerial footage of american choppers "lightnin' people up" on the street of Baghdad for no obvious reason achieve a strong effect. Simply, these images of violence and victims are spread all over the gigantic screens in attempt to turn people's attention to misuse of power. Waters criticizes politicians and warmongers for their increased use of violence and fear. This is exemplified by the children's choir wearing t-shirts with "Fear builds walls" message as they sing "Another Brick in the Wall." In this foul world, fear, political hypocrisy and demagogy, recession and poverty are a bricks of a wall that has to be torn down.

The whole film combined is a gigantic entertainment juggernaut, but Waters is a master of making massive events an intimate affair. The technology of today is what has allowed him to stage the show more effectively. But in amidst the whole theatricality, The Wall documentary is a surprisingly intimate, thought provoking and human thing. 

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