Michelle’s film on music star’s biggest battle

Director: Michelle Heighway
Director: Michelle Heighway

A Rastrick filmmaker has taken on a unique project - a crowdfunded documentary.

Director Michelle Heighway is at the helm of Energy, which is a feature length docu-film offering a powerful personal portrait of revered CAN frontman Damo Suzuki and his battle with colon cancer.

The film follows Suzuki as he battles the disease. To create the film, Michelle and her fellow makers have set up a crowd-funding campaign, with the film due for release in 2019.

Michelle said: “The themes here are music, creativity, human resilience, the mind and the ability to focus, outsider and new age thinking/art and independence.

“This documentary is a wonderful story of hope and survival.

“It’s a personal portrait of the life and times of a nomad, poet and enigmatic singer on his very inspiring journey.

“This has been a really compelling experience that has changed me on so many levels; and I feel this will transfer to the audience.”

Suzuki is renowned for playing shows that are never rehearsed as part of a never-ending tour with Damo Suzuki’s Network, a constantly changing line-up of band members who act as “sound carriers”.

Damo had been touring the world doing the above for 20 years, before it came to a halt when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

Powerful images include Damo at home, hooked up to a drip by a Hickman line fed directly into his heart, yet still joking, smiling and inspiring in his resilience.

The film also shows Damo’s impressive effort in continuing to travel worldwide for performances and meetings, while at different stages of illness.

Although Damo’s struggle with his health provides the film’s main narrative arc, Energy also examines the past, present and future of this highly influential musician’s work, while also capturing his singular outlook on art, protest, lifestyle and alternatives to mainstream thought.

As Suzuki fights cancer viewers will be taken on a colourful, thought provoking, humorous and free-thinking journey, which often finds the audience willing the strength for Damo to survive the operations and begin his beloved touring again.

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