Six years and one pandemic after director Andrew Dominik teamed with musician Nick Cave on the documentary “One More Time with Feeling,” and the collaborative duo return with another concert doc, this time in lieu of Cave’s planned early 2021 tour.
“This Much I Know to Be True” debuts July 8 on MUBI after wowing audiences at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival. Starting with Cave’s sculpture studio, the new documentary from “Blonde” writer/director Dominik captures Cave and Warren Ellis’ creative partnership, expanding on Cave’s 2014 pseudo-doc “20,000 Days on Earth.”
“In time we all find out we are not in control,” Cave says in the trailer. “We never were. We never will be.”
The existential doc takes place in an abandoned Bristol factory as Cave performs — for the first time ever — tracks from his most recent albums “Ghosteen” with his band The Bad Seeds and “Carnage” alongside Ellis. Singers and a string quartet accompany the performances, plus a special guest appearance by Marianne Faithfull.
Dominik and director of photography Robbie Ryan (“Marriage Story,” “The Favourite”) capture Cave’s performances using a circular dolly, creating a looped world within the recording studio. “This Much I Know to Be True” is a companion piece to Dominik’s “One More Time with Feeling,” which will also be available to stream on Mubi starting August 6.
In the IndieWire review of “This Much I Know to Be True,” critic Ben Croll wrote, “If grief underscored every moment of Dominik’s 2016 first Cave doc, for his follow-up he settled on showmanship, delivering a film that is a pleasure from beginning to end.”
The film “projects a beguiling degree of Zen self-confidence as it deploys the barest minimum of its prodigious technical skill to better spotlight the music,” Croll added, crediting Dominik’s “sublime” direction. “If Dominik neither wants nor makes ‘This Much I Know to Be True’ too personal a document, he does slyly undercut his film’s formal polish by closing it with a more vulnerable reveal. Gently lifting the curtain on a man who has found brilliance in his work by de-emphasizing its importance in his life, Cave begins the final interview describing his dissatisfactions with a recently shot sequence, revealing degrees of self-doubt and exhaustion, before Dominik cuts to the song in question.”
“This Much I Know to Be True” premieres July 8 on MUBI. Check out the trailer below.