On Sept. 16, we announced that Heart Like a Hand Grenade, the long-lost documentary chronicling the making of Green Day’s American Idiot, was finally hitting the big screen. Today, we have an exclusive first look at a clip of the John Rocker-directed film.
Below, watch Green Day perform “American Idiot” live for the first time, at Los Angeles’ Olympic Auditorium:
“I remember trying to focus on filming them but also being hyper-aware of how the crowd was reacting to the song,” Roecker tells Billboard. “It was a hold your breath moment for me and the reaction was incredible. We were in the studio for nine months, in this bubble, and now the music was being unleashed. After that, I knew it would never be the same again.”
On Oct. 15, Abramorama will release Heart Like a Hand Grenade theatrically in the U.S. on more than 135 screens; it will be released internationally in select countries on Nov. 11.
The film will be released Oct. 16 on Vimeo On Demand, with DVD and digital copies of the film available for purchase on Nov. 13 via Reprise Records.
Heart Like a Hand Grenade (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 career-reviving album. The access Roecker enjoyed marked the first time Green Day allowed such a look into its recording process. It also includes one-of-a-kind footage of the band performing the entire album in concert.
“This year has been an incredible year for music documentaries — Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Elliott Smith — but this documentary has a happy ending. Eleven years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to document Green Day recording their album American Idiot, a departure on a very epic scale.”
Screening information can be found on Green Day’s official site.