Terrence Malick-produced documentary devoted to Lil Peep—a young rapper who turned his life into art, rose to fame and died at a very young age.
Gustav Elijah Åhr, best known under his stage name Lil Peep, was found dead in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 21. He died in his sleep, as it was established later, from a drug overdose. Trying to make sense of the young musician’s life and death, Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan have interviewed everyone he crossed paths with, starting with his friends, family, and fellow musicians, and finishing with managers and fans. What was so special about this boy from a middle-class academic family? What made him rebel, tattoo his face, and eventually destroy himself? And what made him become an artist?
A star in the age of Twitter and Instagram, Lil Peep shared his secrets with the entire world, but has remained a mystery, like any person remains a mystery to others. But Jones and Silyan seem to have discovered an entrance point offering insight into his personality in his grandfather’s letters. In this correspondence a Harvard professor communicates to his grandson his ideas on bravery and a moral life. His melancholic and poetic writing open up a different perspective on the short and dramatic life of Gustav Åhr.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Lenta.ru’s music critic, Russki Shuffle Telegram channel host Oleg Karmunin; Studio 21 Radio editor Vasily Konad, and film critic, writer for GQ, Kommersant. Style and Kinopoisk Dmitry Barchenkov. The speakers will discuss the film and the phenomenal popularity of its protagonist. How did a boy from an ordinary family win over music critics and get millions of fans in just two years? How did he invent a new genre that we now know as emo rap? What is SoundCloud rap, how did it come about and what has happened to its early stars? How are new music stars born (and how do they die) and why is Lil Peep even more popular today—two years after his death—than during his lifetime? Free admission.
Directors: Sebastian Jones, Ramez Silyan
USA, 2019. 116 min. 18+