This is a quite beautiful, intrinsic and simply made documentary about the band Joy Division, and about Manchester’s youths during the late 1970s and early 1980s. As a few lads congregated, learned their instruments and put together their landmark mal de vivre with the help of Martin Hammett in the shape of “Unknown Pleasures”, the life of the group is both professional and private. Ian Curtis’ life is high- lighted, and still not dissected from the view-point of Deborah Curtis. Annik Honoré, Curtis’ lover, is interviewed, as is a bunch of Manc people, e.g. the members of Joy Division, Richard Boon, Kevin Cummins, Paul Morley, Genesis P. Orridge.
They’re not there to be name-dropped, but all bring good info to the table. Very little of what’s found in this documentary is filler. There is a video included, a piece of a conversation between Curtis in hypnosis and Bernard Sumner, filmed scrawls from Rob Gretton’s note-book. All in all, a quite precious film, laying bare the landscape that was the preface, basis and aftermath of Joy Division. A very good music documentary indeed.