Refused Are Fucking Dead

Refused Are Fucking Dead poster

The Swedish hardcore band Refused took a few years to get great, and shortly after it did, it imploded. Given its incendiary legacy, fans might expect fireworks from this “documentary” about the band’s final days and rather abrupt end, and sporadic live footage does offer a taste of what all the fuss was about. But for all Refused’s unique energy, its breakup story is pretty standard – the tour’s not going well, somebody has a minor meltdown, and the band collectively realizes it’s ready to be done – and we’re meant to believe it was that generation’s 9/11. “Where were you when Refused broke up?”

With less maudlin navel gazing and a little more digging, Refused Are Fucking Dead had the potential to be an interesting article (see Fred Weaver’s “The Final Dark Days of Don Caballero”). But with so little revealing archival footage (the bulk of the story is told in after-the-fact interviews with the band and an unidentified fan), it never had much chance to be a good film.

This piece originally appeared on Letterboxd.
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