The idea of March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads was conceived when one day in spring 2011, Raffaele, the director of the project, came across Frank Marshall’s photographs from his project Renegades on Vice Magazine. Frank’s work presents a considered vision of Botswana’s heavy metal subculture and portrays the unique local metalhead aesthetic which combines elements of British heavy metal of the eighties, cowboy fashion and biker elements creating an interesting anthropological study of a subculture like no other.
Raffaele’s curiosity about the metal scene in Botswana led to an intensive research and a series of attempts to contact various local bands. Two years later, in April 2013, a team of three filmmakers decided it was time to spend their savings in a meaningful experience and landed in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. The crew chose to focus the documentary on one of the most predominant local bands, Wrust, and it was offered hospitality by its singer, Stux Daemon.
The following weeks were an experience of intense immersion into the local metal brotherhood. The team interviewed several local bands, fans, musicians and people who offered anthropological insights into the subculture and its history. The crew also filmed and experienced the madness of the local metal gigs and spent enough time with the local people to understand the country’s uniqueness through its contemporary culture but also its problems and contradictions.
Upon leaving Botswana, the film crew and the band shared a common vision: Wrust had just got an invitation to play at one of the most respected metal festivals in Italy, SoloMacello, headlined by Red Fang. Although Wrust had opened for famous bands such as Sepultura and Carcass in South Africa before, that was their first chance to take a step outside their continent. SoloMacello would be the opportunity to put Botswana on the world map of metal music for the first time in history – and it did. Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Wrust managed to cover an important part of their travel expenses and be the first metal band from Botswana ever to play outside Africa.
Wrust are currently performing in a number of African countries as part of their tour March of the Gods (the film has actually been named after the tour). The film started hitting the festivals in 2014 and has already won the award of Best International Documentary at People’s Film Festival in New York.
Taken from marchofthegods.com/