Roger Waters’ THE WALL is the greatest spectacle I have ever witnessed. I saw him perform THE WALL twice, the first was at an indoor venue on a smaller scale. The second was at Wrigley Field, and it was absolutely epic. Throughout the duration of the concert, a physical wall gets built, brick by brick until it is completed, only to be torn down at the final moments of the show.
Five years later at the Toronto International Film Festival, a concert documentary film was released of THE WALL. The film is as great as seeing the concert live. Cut into the concert, we follow Waters on his own journey from his home, traveling to France to see his grandfather’s grave from World War One, to Waters traveling to Anzio to finally seeing the memorial where his father died during the battle in World War Two. Along the way he’s joined by his family, a childhood friend and mysterious people. Are they actually there with him? Yes and no.
Like any great piece of art, THE WALL is timeless as it is life changing. It can mean a vast many different things to many different people. Isolation, self hatred, fear, enlightenment, hope, self preservation. It is an incredibly personal journey that one has to take on their own, experience themselves, guide themselves through the journey of the double album.
Viewing the film is an emotional experience to say the least. Whether you’re searching for own inner peace along with Waters, or enjoying the film for the madness that it is, you can’t help but go on a personal ride with Waters, watching him on his quest for inner peace. Watch him read the hand written KIA letter his mother received about his father, or watching Waters play OUTSIDE THE WALL on a trumpet at each memorial site he arrives at.
THE WALL asks, rather begs us as individuals – why aren’t we treating ourselves better? For if we do that, we’ll treat others better and therefore change the world whilst deconstructing our own personal walls, no matter how thick or how high. Tearing it down, brick by brick.