The night before an attacker was thwarted at the Louvre, the Eagles of Death Metal gathered in Los Angeles to screen the doc about their experience returning to Paris following the Bataclan terrorist attack.
On Nov. 13, 2015, the band was playing a set at the Bataclan when three gunmen entered the theater and opened fire on the crowd, killing 89. The massacre was a part of a larger, coordinated attack that occurred throughout Paris.
Three months later, Jesse Hughes, Josh Homme and the rest of the band made the decision to return to Paris to finish their set onstage with U2, at which point their friend Colin Hanks stepped in, offering to document the experience.
“When Colin started mentioning that he felt it should be captured — that it had an importance — it was a surprise to me. It’s hard to take a compliment about something like this,” said Homme at the premiere of HBO’s Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends).
Hanks, who has been a fan of and friend to the band for a number of years, explained, “I thought it would be a good opportunity to showcase how everyone was positively moving on with their lives,” adding that he also wanted to make the doc so his “friends didn’t have to talk about it publicly again.”
The HBO feature, which marks the first film for Live Nation Productions, uses the Bataclan attack as a foundation to talk about larger themes of survival and recovery. The movie includes U2’s Bono and The Edge, as well as account form survivors of the attack, but it largely focuses on the friendship between Hughes and Homme.
“There is nothing easy about this,” said Hughes of revisiting the experience. “But that doesn’t matter.”
Homme concludes: “It would have been a shame if the punctuation of this event was just violence and body count. [The doc] doesn’t explain anything, but it was worth a shot.”
Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends) premieres Feb. 13 on HBO.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.