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:: 12-12-12

It was the night that was put together to help aid the New Yorkers that were suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. What it became was one of the biggest concerts held in music history. It was the night that saw Paul McCartney technically become the lead vocalist for Nirvana, the night that Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder put his Jimmy Fallon Show faux-pas and performed with the legendary Roger Waters, the night that REM’S Michael Stipe joined forces with Coldplay’s Chris Martin. To top it off the night when legends like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and The Who looked down off the stage and saw a pit filled with the unlikely combination of Chris Rock, Quentin Tarantino, Kristen Stewart, Miles Teller and Michael Chiklis… just to name a few.

The good thing for music fans that couldn’t be at Madison Square Gardens for the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert is the fact that former Beatles front man Paul McCartney knew that something big was going on and had the foresight to capture the night on video. Teaming up with documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev has seen McCartney end up being the executive producer of one of the most interesting and entertaining docos that is likely to hit the screens in 2014.

12-12-12 isn’t simply just a re-run of the concert footage that went to air on the night of the concert, no Bar-Lev goes a lot deeper than that. The doco itself almost tells three stories, it shows the horror of the night that Sandy touched down in New York, it then tells the story of those that put their own safety last and reached out to help those affected in the tragedies aftermath and then shows all the hard work that the likes of Harvey Weinstein went into putting together this massive concert in just three weeks. The fact that of all us is intermixed with some brilliant live performances by some of the world’s greatest artists makes this a touching human interest documentary that is also likely to enthral any serious music fans.

Bar-Lev skills as a filmmaker are clearly on show for all to see in 12-12-12. Most directors would have simply just inserted some Hurricane Sandy footage into the concert footage and delivered it to the masses, but Bar-Lev goes deeper than that even showing the frantic pace that all involved in this concert went three in the days leading up to it and on the actual night. He shows the meltdown of some of the staff when it is realised that so many credit card donations are being made per second that the whole computer system is crashing, he shows the cool and calm owner of Google stepping in to fix the problem when nobody else seems able to. He also captures moments when stars became star struck themselves, moments like when Quentin Tarantino goes into complete surprise meeting Reggie Jackson and Chris Rock standing looking at the stage like a small child looking up at a Christmas Tree. Then there are the amazing interviews of those who survived Sandy, the volunteer firefighters who watched their own homes burn not being able to do a thing and an amazing insight from Tony Danza into what it means to be American. They are the things that most filmmakers would have overlooked… not so Bar-Lev.

12-12-12 is a documentary that no music fan should miss. It is also the kind of film that anyone who needs to renew their faith in mankind needs to see. It’s a film that looks at how community should pull together in the face of a tragedy whether they be your average Joe on the street or a wealthy musician… oh and this is a film that also shows us that Adam Sandler can still be funny when he wants to be. This is one documentary that shouldn't be missed.