Documenting an unrelenting quest – Anvil! The Story of Anvil

There is something compelling about documenting an unrelenting quest.  People are drawn to stories of passionate individuals who remain committed to a path, regardless of the obstacles.   Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a 2008 Canadian documentary film about the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil that exemplifies such a story.  Documentaries of people following their dreams can inspire, regardless of the outcome.

In the early 80’s Anvil toured with the likes of The Scorpians, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses.  While all of those bands went on to enormous fame and riches, Anvil certainly did not.  And while lead singer and guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow ends up as a delivery driver for a catering service company he is determined to remain steadfast in his dreams of having the band making it.  He is resolute in keeping the band together regardless of the financial, family and practical obstacles that they encounter.  Steve is endlessly industrious is coming up with ways to finance the band’s efforts is unwavering in his spirit and passion as he gets the band together to record their 13th album and subsequently go on a European tour.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is an endearing story about resilience and determination.  Following the band’s improbable dream provides insight into their unique friendship and bond, and leads to an examination of broader examination goal-setting, loyalty, success, heartbreak, and external validation.  There is an undeniable appeal to the band’s commitment.  The film’s tagline is “At fourteen, they made a pact to rock together forever. They meant it.”

The film is directed by Sacha Gervasi who was originally a roadie for the band while at the height of their success.  It is clear he recognized that the band (and their lead singer in particular) have an unflappable nature that resonates.  The film is a fantastic mix of humour, poignancy, and inspiration.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a highly entertaining documentary that inspires us to seek out subjects that are similarly consumed by a personal quest.