I Get Knocked Down
dir. by Sophie Robinson, Dunstan Bruce
production: Great Britain 2021
Dunstan Bruce, one of the leaders of the legendary Chumbawamba, tells the story of the band, formed in the 1980s by a group of teenagers from Leeds, fascinated by anarchism. From the beginning, their goal was to combine a radical, leftist message with a form that would allow them to reach the widest possible audience. The realization of the task they set themselves exceeded their wildest expectations – the song “Tubhtumping” was humming all over the world by the turn of the century, and the band members became mega-stars. Suddenly, they turned concerts in glooms into giant stages. To this day, the song can still be heard in the mainstream media, far from politics. In such a situation, how do you maintain the purity of a rebellious message and stay true to punk ideals?
Chumbawamba existed for 40 years, growing from a foundation of intellectual, committed punk in the spirit of Crass, adding an electrifying mix of uninhibited joy and fun. One of their albums featured a slogan that defines their entire oeuvre: “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution.” Their attitude was an inspiration for many bands and activists, and their repeated visits to Poland and unforgettable concerts built a gigantic popularity over the Vistula as well. The film is a nostalgic trip, embellished with wonderful archives documenting the band’s crazy antics, but also a reflection on the second half of life – when one no longer has the strength to stand at the barricade, and younger generations come to the fore with brand new ideas. Where to get the energy to act at such a time?