Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Off

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This film is about a band, of course, but it’s more universal a story than that – it is about five friends, it is about sacrifice and redemption, it is about a reckoning with a past and a path forward into a new kind of freedom. It is about home and family, and how many different ways we define those things. Having lived exceptional lives in a glaring spotlight, having lost a youth to the demands of fame, home and family can be many things.  We see that boys still struggle to become men, forging their paths both in private, in the public eye, and together, through their music.

A reunion in the recording studio; friendships renewed yet dynamic shifts reveal new tensions that need confronting and resolving, both creative and personal. An intimate and emotional journey home reveals personal truths, opens old wounds, brings them closer to each other (and their fans.) We travel with them through the landscape of their past, exploring the sights and sounds of weird American suburbia, the strange and lush dreamland of Orlando, and the natural beauty of the Kentucky countryside. We see just how far down their roots go and what makes them who they are today.

In an attempt to find some form of closure on their biggest unanswered question, the band talk properly for the first time in such depth about the man who made it all happen 20 years ago: Lou Pearlman, now currently an inmate at a state penitentiary. Former mastermind behind the biggest boy band of all time, Lou is behind bars for running a massive Ponzi scheme and a catalogue of bad business. Having cheated the Boys and many others out of millions, they attempt to process the biggest and toughest question: why?

The film dives back into their past as it pushes forward into their uncertain future. 20 years behind them, are there another 20 years ahead of them?  What is it like being a man in a boy band?  Can they grow up and evolve?

This is a film that finds the humour and the pathos in those questions and gives us an up close and personal view of a pop phenomenon.  It’s an opening up of a big story, to both their fans as well as to the harder to convince non-fans, for whom the story and winning personalities of these hardworking natural talents will surprise and overturn preconceptions.

Certificate: 15               Documentary | Music

Dir. Stephen Kijak, UK/US, 2015, 101 mins

Cast (as themselves): Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean, Kevin Scott Richardson

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