Film Review: ROGER WATERS US + THEM (USA 2019) ****

Roger Waters - Us + Them Poster
A look at Roger Waters’ 2017-2018 concert tour.

Directors:

Sean EvansRoger Waters

The Us + Them Tour was a concert tour by Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd.  The tour visited the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and countries in Europe and Latin America, showcasing songs from Waters’ career with Pink Floyd and from his most recent album as a solo artist, Is This the Life We Really Want? It opened on 26 May 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri and ended on 9 December 2018 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Roger Waters, now at the age of 76, co-founder, creative force and songwriter behind Pink Floyd, presents his highly anticipated film, ROGER WATERS US + THEM, featuring state-of- the-art visual production and breath-taking sound in this unmissable cinema event.  Filmed in Amsterdam on the European leg of his 2017 – 2018 Us + Them tour which saw Waters perform to over two million people worldwide, the film features songs from his legendary Pink Floyd albums (The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals, Wish You Were Here) and from his last album, Is This The Life We Really Want?  Waters collaborates once more with Sean Evans, visionary director of the highly acclaimed movie, Roger Waters The Wall, to deliver this creatively pioneering film that inspires with its powerful music and message of human rights, liberty and love.

The concert film comes with a message.  Unlike Bruce Springsteen’s WESTERN STARS which is too preachy, Roger Water’s film takes the preaching down several notches.  The message of everyone are brothers and sisters comes across loud and clear – emphasized by the lyrics of many of the songs performed.  The film is bookended by an image on a mother sitting on a mound of sand on a beach looking out into the ocean.  A child is with her.  The image is called ‘The last Refugee’ in the closing credits and shows Waters’s fight for this cause.  There are also other disturbing images intercut with the concept, footage of refugees overcrowded into a road sailing towards  what they believe is freedom and a better life.

The best song performed is “The Wall”  which is enough to move any audience.  The song is accompanied bu children of many races n orange jumpsuits on stage during the performance.  The visuals seen on the gigantic screen behind the stage are well thought-of and executed, much the vision of Sean Evans.

The camera intercuts the performances with the reactions of the spectators many of whom know the lyrics of entire songs by heart.

The entire concert film is not only entertaining but a very moving experience.  This is the next best thing to attending the concert – without the hassle of having to deal with the crowds.

This film will inevitable be compared to Springsteen’s WESTERN STARS.  Roger Waters’s film wins hands down.  Waters works also more layered and a better listen – my view, (sorry Springsteen fans.)

Stay for the closing credits.  The credits list all the performers on stage as well as those behind the scenes.  The short entitled “A Fleeting Glimpse” comes after as a bonus.

Trailer: https://afrotoronto.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1901&catid=67

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