Green Day's Long-Lost 'American Idiot' Documentary Is Finally Coming

Green Day

Mike Dirnt, Billie Joe Armstrong and Tre Cool of Green Day at the Billboard Music Awards on Dec. 6, 2005.

Last year, Green Day’s career-reviving anti-Bush opus American Idiot celebrated its 10th anniversary. In time for its not-quite-as-monumental 11th anniversary, a shelved documentary on it is finally seeing the light of day. 

It’s called Heart Like a Hand Grenade and it’s set for a wide release on Oct. 15. 

The film (which takes its name from the American Idiot track “She’s a Rebel”), was shot over the nine-month period during which the band crafted the massive album. Shot by director John Roecker, it marked the first time Green Day allowed such a look into its recording process. Additionally, it includes the band performing the entire LP in a small theater shortly after recording wrapped. This is suspected to be the only recording of that show.

Green Day Announces Live Return

Heart Like a Hand Grenade was screened only once, for about 400 fans at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre in 2009. Since then, it went unreleased and some suspected it was just a prank or urban legend. 

“It is a film that inspires,” Roecker said via Green Day’s official site. “It is also a very small film. All it took was a box of tapes and one camera… This movie is like a fly on the wall art house piece.” 

Green Day's 'American Idiot' Turns 10: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

Roecker, a punk rock fan since the late ‘70s, is known for controversial films like Live Freaky Die Freaky (an animated feature on the Manson murders) and the series Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gay Porn Stars, which was once banned by Amazon. 

Green Day was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. 


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.