Spirits In The Forest (2019) - Anton Corbijn's film about Depeche Mode

On the intriguing film of Anton Corbijn...

Spirits In The Forest Movie (2019): 6 Lives Under A Star Named Depeche Mode

A good movie should not be shown often, otherwise it becomes boring, loses a significant part of its uniqueness and turns into consumer goods. So Anton Corbijn's documentary "Spirits In The Forest" about the legendary band will be shown in cinemas for only one day. It is not a pathetic demonstration of the success of talented guys, but the stories of ordinary Depeche Mode fans, for whom the work of musicians has become something more than good music. Guiding star.

In Corbijn's film, there will be no memories of people close to the members of the group, and the musicians themselves will rather be the backdrop for sincere, touching stories of heroes from completely different parts of the world. These people are without puppy delight and hysterical cries of “I love Depeche Mode !!!” they will tell how they discovered the group for themselves, and how their destinies changed after that.

Corbijn could simply limit himself to the homeland of the "despatches", England, and it's easy to find a couple of fans there. But the videographer of the group found it too simple and banal. He found his heroes in the USA, Mongolia, Brazil, France, Romania and Colombia.

These people simply, without any hint of a carefully crafted script, naturally and without hesitation share with the viewer how their horizons expanded after meeting the legendary band. Almost each of the characters in the tape was so impressed by the music that he wanted to know what meaning the words carry. And these fans started learning English. In fact, discovering the work of Depeche Mode twice.

Undoubtedly, every great writer, musician, artist began to engage in creativity, inspired by the works of some recognized master. So the heroes of "Spirits In The Forest" discovered talents in themselves that simply would never have woken up if they had not heard their idols.

One of the fans founded his own team. In addition to himself in the group and his two sons. They cover Depeche Mode songs. And so talented that they became not only YouTube stars, but also gathered a considerable number of their own fans who were going to live concerts of "dispatches" clones.

Depeche Mode band. Photo: Anton Corbijn
Depeche Mode band. Photo: Anton Corbijn

Another hero of the picture created his own version of the video for the song "Enjoy The Silence", in which he combined his passion for Depeche Mode music and admiration for the mountains. With his enthusiasm, he infected several other friends who actively helped in the creation of the video.

In Corbijn's film, there was a place for the ancient postulate that art can work wonders. One of the participants in the documentary touchingly shares the story of how she struggled with oncology. The music of Depeche Mode helped the woman not to give up and not to give up.

Another member of the tape mentions that in his homeland the group's songs were available only in the form of low-quality pirated copies. Therefore, when he managed to get a licensed album, he treated it so carefully that if he damaged the publication, he would have survived such a tragedy with great difficulty.

The tape does not bypass such an incurable disease of modern society as intolerance. The two heroes of the picture are faced with racism and homophobia. But the music supported them when they were ready to break down internally. Now they are happy and share their happiness with the viewer.

There are also children in the film, to whom parents who are passionate about Depeche Mode passed on their love for idols almost at the genetic level. It has already been mentioned that one of the fans "pulled" the offspring to the performances. And the mother of other children always takes them with her to performances. And these days are turning into a real holiday for the younger generation of fans.

Almost all of the characters in Spirits In The Forest discovered Depeche Mode when they were very young. Now these are adults. But one of the participants in the tape is a little over 20. This means that the music of the legendary band does not belong to any particular era. It exists outside of time frames, geography, trends and fashion trends.

Depeche Mode "Spirits In The Forest"
Depeche Mode "Spirits In The Forest"

And Corbijn's film, in general, is much broader than six stories about the influence of one musical group on the lives of several representatives of different nationalities. This is a successful and catchy attempt, which will make you look at others not from the point of view of their wealth, external beauty, sexual orientation. And look at the people around and think “but everyone listens to some kind of music, it is a part of his being, it inspires something, forms a worldview.”

In the stories shown by the director, everyone will see, even a small part of themselves, their loved ones. He will understand that any hobby is a powerful incentive for the realization of a dream, even if they are not even connected.

There is also a line about the Depeche Mode fan movement in the plot. And this is more than the union of fans of one group. It is a united brotherhood focused on creation.

All the stories told are accompanied by footage from the performances of the musicians. The team's hits greatly enhance the effect of the heroes' narrations. Music sharpens the perception of everything said by such different fans of the cultural movement called Depeche Mode. And the scenes with the audience singing along with the stars create the feeling that not six people are talking about themselves, but hundreds of thousands.

Someone may be offended by the absence of fans of the group from our country in the film. Indeed, in Russia, Depeche Mode occupies a place that is difficult to express in a word, phrase or even a scientific lecture. But real art knows no boundaries and national identity. A man from Romania or a woman from Mongolia "on their own board." Yes, and Anton is far from offending someone, and giving someone a reason to be proud.

In most films about famous musicians, fans are given only the role of extras. And Corbijn brought the latter to the fore, reminding the “great ones” that even thrice brilliant performers mean little without those for whom they create. And the audience, among other things, the director gave the opportunity to enjoy a grandiose spectacle by including in the film a cut from the bright episodes of Depeche Mode's grandiose tour "Global Spirit". And that's great.

Watching "Spirits In The Forest" is worth not only for the band's fans. He will make you think. And this is already a lot. Plus, great, high-quality music and a lot of positive energy. Like the Strugatskys: "... and let no one leave offended ..."

Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest is now available to watch online on Apple TV+!

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