Every year, we seem to get new documentaries with supposedly ‘new’ insight into legendary bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Queen – at this point, there’s surely nothing else to say. Music documentaries are always far more compelling when they shine a light on the underdogs, the unsung heroes, the forgotten legends. Gio Arlotta’s documentary WITCH: We Intend to Cause Havoc clearly received that memo, as it takes 90 minutes to shine a light on the eponymous WITCH, Zambia’s most popular rock band of the 1970s.
This uplifting and inspiring documentary is, at its core, a celebration of music. Sure, the film takes time to examine the political and cultural context of 1970s Zambia and why the so-called “Zamrock” movement began – and, indeed, why WITCH never found particularly lasting success. But the doc is at its best when opening our ears to this stunning music and letting us simply enjoy the performances and the effect they have on their audiences. It is a joyous and life-affirming film filled with love for its subject and for music itself.
WITCH: We Intend to Cause Havoc is a beautifully uplifting documentary that finally allows WITCH to take centre stage, and will hopefully cement their place in music history.
WITCH: We Intend to Cause Havoc is released in select cinemas on 2nd July 2021