Mistaken for Strangers

March 30th, 2014

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Mistaken for Strangers

Tom Berninger chronicles his time spent on the road as a member of the tour crew for The National, the rock & roll band fronted by his brother, Matt.

Release Year: 2013

Rating: 7.4/10 (360 voted)

Director: Tom Berninger

In 2010, rock band The National were about to embark on the biggest tour of their career. After ten years as a band, and five critically acclaimed albums, they were finally enjoying wider recognition. Lead singer Matt Berninger invited his younger brother, Tom, to join the tour's crew. A budding horror filmmaker, Tom - who is nine years younger than Matt and listens exclusively to heavy metal - decided to bring his camera along. Tom's at sea in the world of indie rock, and living in his brother's shadow brings out the younger sibling in him - he drinks, complains, and struggles to balance his ambition with his tour responsibilities. The result is a film about brothers and about making something of your own.


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Rating: 8/10

Saw this at the premiere/National concert at the Shrine in LA on Tuesday 3/25/2014. This is the story of Matt Berninger, lead singer of the National's younger brother (by 9 years) Tom attempting (and succeeding) to make a documentary of the band on tour. It mostly plays out as a story of brotherly love & jealousy, but always with a good-natured and humorous bent. Tom is a goofy kid-stuck-in-a-man's-body who has a history of quitting things before he's finished them, and Matt seems determined to see him finish this project, even if it means risking the public perception of his band. The audience was in uproarious laughter throughout the whole thing, and everyone seemed surprised at what a genuine portrait it was of not only the band, but of how a regular family's dynamics change when one member is throw into the spotlight. Highly recommended.

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