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Until The Light Takes Us (tbc)

  • Run time: 1 hour 33 mins
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release date: 19th March 2010
  • Official Website:
  • Distributor: Variance Films

Plot Synopsis

Until the Light Takes Us is a feature length documentary about a music genre known as black metal. Comprised of metal musicians, murderers, church-burners, and suicide victims, this previously underground scene is known today in equal parts as being an ideological movement, an anti-commercial music scene, an art movement, and a terrorist movement who terrorized Norway’s Christian population. It is as successful today as it is infamous. The film examines the birth and explosive arc of Black Metal, from the perspective of the musicians: young men who tried to change the world using music and symbolic acts of violence.

In 1991, Norwegian churches started to burn. At the same time, a small underground scene of anticonsumerist metal musicians was forming. While reporters and police scrambled for answers, more and more churches went up in flames. They had no leads until Varg Vikernes, one of the leaders of the underground scene, took credit. He was held for questioning long enough for the media to run with a largely fabricated story. Spurred on by sensationalistic media reports of Satanic rituals, abductions and sacrifices, young men began taking cues as to what they should be doing, creating an escalating cycle of fiction creating reality. Black metal, or rather the sensationalized version of it, grew in popularity until it was available in record stores world-wide and was profiled in every major music publication, from Spin to Rolling Stone to Vice, even serving as the inspiration for popular animated shows in the U.S. Succesful visual artists such as Harmony Korine and Bjarne Melgaard are now recontextualizing black metal as contemporary art in international exhibitions.

Black metal was created by three men: one was murdered, one’s in jail for murder and arson, and one continues to release albums in the genre they created. Part modern art movement, part terrorist movement, part rock scene, Until the Light Takes Us explores the brutal history of Norway’s chief musical export and the world of its creators. Far from being a “rockumentary”, however, the film is instead contemplative in its examination of the impact the riotous history and misperceptions have had on its creators.

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