Roger Waters is bringing one of his greatest artistic triumphs to the screen at a time when war and armed conflict is consuming broad swaths of the planet.
At the Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Roger Waters’ The Wall,” the former Pink Floyd singer and guitarist said he was inspired to make a film of his wildly successful concert tour of the famous album out of political necessity.
“Any armed conflict is an underscore and an exclamation mark to this movie, because this movie is unashamedly anti-war, ecumenical, and about love for all men and women whatever their race, color, creed, nationality or whatever,” said Waters.
It’s also the second time that a film has been made of “The Wall,” but unlike the 1982 Alan Parker film, this isn’t a narrative picture and it’s not autobiographical. That film dealt with an emotionally isolated singer, but the 2014 version widens its canvas, while retaining a soundtrack that includes such rock classics as “Comfortably Numb” and “Hey You.”
“When Roger decided that he wanted to bring it back on the road he said, ‘I’m not that guy. I’m happy. I’m not this angry kid anymore,'” said co-director Sean Evans. “We took the meat of it and made it more about the world and building walls in society, religion and politics.”
Waters has been outspoken of late, criticizing the United States, for instance, for supporting Israel in its standoff with Hamas. At the premiere, he did not speak about any specific war or hot zone, but implied he felt that people needed to become more politically active in order to prevent future bloodshed.
“It’s about our children and about each other and about how we so desperately need to transcend national boundaries in order to cooperate with one another rather than sitting entrenched on our side of a boundary or wall and lobbing bombs at each other over the top of it,” he said.
“We’re on a slippery slope and we need to dig our heels in and say enough, enough, this is not right,” Waters added.
The premiere happened to coincide with the rocker’s 71st birthday, an anniversary that the filmmakers insisted was coincidental.