In April last year, Dr. Nelson Varas-Díaz from the Florida International University released his documentary Songs Of Injustice: Heavy Metal Music In Latin America exclusively with Metal Hammer.
The acclaimed film explored the metal scene in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Peru through the eyes of the musicians. Now Díaz is back with a new project, titled Acts Of Resistance, recorded in Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia, and focussing on how heavy metal music resists social oppression once it leaves the stage. The new documentary is set for release early in 2021, and you can watch the trailer now.
The film follows Díaz as he continues his trek through Latin America, documenting the varied manifestations of metal music in the region. In this, his fourth film on the subject, he documents how metal fans and musicians use the power of music to change their societies. Whether inspiring support for rural schools in Guatemala, engagement in environmental activism in Ecuador, or work for memory and peace in Colombia, metal music has become a form of decolonial activism in Latin America. This is what happens when the music’s extreme sounds and lyrics are combined with local concerns with un buen vivir (a life well-lived).
Díaz explains: “I wanted to focus on what metal fans and musicians were doing to transform their context through practical actions. So I started to travel throughout Latin America once again to meet and film these individuals and events.
“I found a plethora of very practical acts being carried out through metal music to challenge injustices in the region. Issues like environmental activism, community education, and the restoration of memory are front and centre.”
Metal has taken to the streets, and is a force to be reckoned with beyond the stage.
For more on Acts Of Resistance, visit the documentary’s Facebook page.
Díaz was also behind the 2017 film The Metal Islands, which focused on extreme music in the Caribbean