Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

“With Robertson’s deep timber and vivid recollections – as well as quips from his mentor Ronnie Hawkins, interviews with fellow rock luminaries and a dizzying amount of rock and roll archival clips – it’s an entertaining account of Robertson’s journey through monumental music moments.” - NOW" - Variety

"Forty-one years after the theatrical release of The Last Waltz, Robbie Robertson gets the last word on that era in Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, a documentary picked by the Toronto Int’l Film Festival as its opening night gala premiere. It covers Robertson’s tenure in the Band from the group’s early ’60s origins through that final concert in 1976, famously documented by Martin Scorsese (who serves as an executive producer here).

"Once Were Brothers is essentially a movie adaptation of Robertson’s 2016 autobiography, Testimony: A Memoir. Just as the book ended with the tale of The Last Waltz (he’s working on a sequel now), so the film takes its leave there, too, although Brothers does include something he was presumably saving for the second memoir: his account of visiting another former Band member, Levon Helm, on his deathbed.

"Stars like Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal and Van Morrison show up to attest to the group’s greatness, a rock ‘n’ roll course-changing 1960s catalog. Springsteen is useful at distilling one of the things that was unique about the Band, besides the fact that they almost invented the Americana subgenre as we now know it: They had 'three of the greatest white singers in rock history,' says the Boss. 'To have any one of those guys would be the foundation of a great group. To have three was just loaded for bear.'"

"It’s no surprise to anyone who’s met him or even listened thoughtfully to some of the greatest rock songs ever written that Robertson would be such an articulate and ingratiating tour guide through all this glorious and eventually tortured history." - Variety


This movie is so fresh, there is no trailer, so we'll give you this: The Band rehearsing 'King Harvest' at Robbie Robertson's studio in Woodstock in 1970. Outside of 'The Last Waltz,' it's hard to find film footage of The Band, which is one of the reasons 'Once Were Brothers' is so highly anticipated among music lovers. Levon Helm was from Arkansas, but otherwise, The Band hailed from Southwestern Ontario (Six Nations, London, Stratford, Norfolk County) and of that, we are all proud!

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