Months later and I am still thinking about it. I watched the National in concert at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. As expected, the music was phenomenal. But what made the show extra special was the screening of “Mistaken for Strangers,” a documentary movie by Tom Berninger, who happens to be the younger brother of Matt, lead singer for the critically-acclaimed rock band The National.
Painfully honest and comical at times, “Mistaken for Strangers,” tells the story of two brothers. It could be any two brothers in the world! The differences between two siblings, the unbreakable bonds, the joy and pain in any sibling relationship are universal. This film was supposed to be an opus BY the younger slacker bro Tom about his more successful older brother and his rock and roll lifestyle (which to Tom’s disappointment was really not very rock n’ roll). But in the process of going on tour with The National as a roadie, the film becomes more an introspective piece and leads Tom to think more about himself and where his life is going. Throughout the movie, awesome behind the scenes and concert footage are captured. You will also get a glimpse into the other “brothers” in the band – twins Aaron and Bryce Dessner, and Scott and Bryan Devendorf.
If you are a National fan, you are in for a treat. And if you like docu-dramas with an indie feel about self-discovery, and maybe happen to have a sibling or two, then “Mistaken for Strangers,” will surely hit home.
For your Music Monday listening and viewing pleasure, here is The National’s Tiny Desk Concert via NPR.