Documentary about indie band The National opens Tribeca festival

Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:31am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music documentary "Mistaken for Strangers," a tale about two brothers and the indie rock group The National, opens the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, which this year features nearly 90 feature films from 30 countries.

The documentary was made by Tom Berninger, the younger brother of the Brooklyn group's lead singer Matt, who follows the band behind the scenes on a world tour.

The filmmaker fires funny and often irrelevant questions at the five members of the band which is made up of Matt and two other pairs of brothers.

"It is a very personal movie," said Berninger, 33, who shot the film while working as a roadie for the band, which will perform after Wednesday's screening. The band, formed in Cincinnati in 1999 before moving Brooklyn, is known for its dark, moody music.

"With every younger brother there comes this desire to make something of himself in his (older) brother's eyes. It is about self discovery, stepping out of the shadow and acceptance of who you are," Berninger said.

Festival organizers said they selected the film to start Tribeca because it embodies the independent spirit of many of the emerging filmmakers showing their work at the 12-day festival that runs until April 28.

"Not only is it a music documentary, it is a documentary about a young filmmaker making his first film. It is funny and irreverent, a good laugh, and has great music," said Genna Terranova, the director of programming for Tribeca.

Jane Rosenthal, who co-founded the festival named for a New York City neighborhood with actor Robert De Niro after the September 2001 attacks in downtown Manhattan, described it as "a very poignant story," with its title stemming from the band's song of the same name.   Continued...