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Movies & TV

20th Jun 2024

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon film about landmark U2 concert gets Irish release date

Stephen Porzio

The documentary has a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.

The Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-produced film about the Bosnian War and U2’s concert in Sarajevo in 1997 after the conflict has secured an Irish cinema release date.

Titled Kiss the Future, the documentary is said to be “an exploration of the perils of nationalism and art’s role as a weapon of resistance and activism” and will feature footage of the landmark gig by the Irish band.

“Amid the breakup of Yugoslavia, the citizens of Sarajevo wake to find the city under siege and Bosnia at war. As the blockade stretches for years, living becomes an act of defiance and rock and punk music inspires and distracts from the daily nightmare of Serbian shells and snipers,” the synopsis for the film reads.

“In a far-fetched scheme inspired by local resistance, an American aid worker living in Sarajevo reached out to the world’s biggest band, U2, to see if they could help raise global awareness of the devastating conflict.

“The band agreed and across the summer of 1993, their ZOO TV Tour featured live satellite interviews with local Sarajevans who described their plight to the concert-goers.

“When these interviews came to an end, the band pledged to perform in the city once the conflict was over.

“Kiss the Future follows the story of that promise, with a post-war concert that saw U2 play to over 45,000 local fans in a liberated city, a show that lives on as a joyous collective memory for the people of Sarajevo – proof that they did not just survive the blockade, but thrived in spite of it; that amid the horrors of the darkest human impulses, music and art can be acts of rebellion.”

Produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Kiss the Future is directed by Nenad Cicin-Sain and has already earned rave reviews Stateside – with the film currently holding a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here’s a sample of what critics had to say about the documentary:

Film Inquiry: “Kiss The Future is a glimmer of what the world can be when we are one — united by the communal goodness and beauty of art.”

The Hollywood Reporter: “A touching reminder of music’s ability to change the world.”

New York Times: “This is history told through emotions as much as through well-documented events, conveying both the resilience of Sarajevans and the power of pop music (without falling into too much celebrity self-regard).”

TheWrap: “Kiss the Future is a portrait of a city and a people who used culture to fight back; it’s also the story of a rock ‘n’ roll band exploring the limits of how its music can impact the real world.”

Kiss the Future will screen theatrically for one night only at Dublin cinema the Irish Film Institute (IFI) on Thursday, 27 June.

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