BOWIE: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is a feature length documentary about the life and inspiration of a true rock and roll icon
Since music legend David Bowie first shot to fame in the 1960s, there are have been many documentaries about the British rock icon. From his impact on fashion and teenage culture to his constantly evolving musical style, Bowie was truly an artistic chameleon with a career that spanned half a century.
BOWIE: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is a feature length documentary about the life and inspiration of a true rock and roll icon. Unlike other documentaries which focus on Bowie as a musician, BOWIE focuses on Bowie as an artist, examining his revolutionary style and personas, from the ground-breaking Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke.
The 85 minute documentary begins in 1947 and focuses on Bowie’s early years. Interview snippets from people who knew Bowie both socially and professionally accompany archive footage of the great man himself, as well as still photographs from Bowie’s childhood and his professional career.
Whereas other artists remained constant in appearance, Bowie was in a state of permanent revolution, constantly re-inventing his persona and sound and the focus of the piece is very much on Bowie as an influencer. Writer/Director Sonia Anderson has clearly put a lot of research into the film and the insight into his early life is both interesting and engaging.
Yet for all its detail, the documentary misses out some vital key elements. Surprisingly, the film doesn’t contain any of Bowie’s music – not one song – and there is a lot of duplication of the same still photos and video clips. The focus is also very much of Bowie’s early years. A good two thirds of the film is spent exploring his teenage years, while his work during the 80s, 90s and 00s is crammed into the final 20 minutes, almost as an afterthought rather than a natural progression of the piece.
That said, the documentary is well put together and there are enough interesting facts to keep you engaged, such as story about how a fight at 15 left Bowie with anisocoria, a condition in which the pupils of his eyes are a different size. The interview snippets with his ex-wife Angie Bowie and his former lover Mary Finnegan are also worth a watch, as are those with Paul Gambaccini, Paul Nicholas and Bob Harris.
If you’re a fan of David Bowie, you’re sure to enjoy BOWIE: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD. All in all, a decent documentary about a music legend who carved out one of the most individual careers in music, film and the arts.
BOWIE: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is released on DVD on 6 June 2016 via Screenbound Pictures Limited.