Genre specialist, Raven Banner Entertainment has topped up its Cannes virtual market slate with The Sound of Scars, a deeply personal documentary which chronicles Brooklyn alt/metal band, Life of Agony’s rise, fall and rebirth while confronting domestic violence, substance abuse and addiction, depression and lead singer Mina Caputo’s gender transition.
Directed by Leigh Brooks and filmed across several countries while Life of Agony was on and off the road. “This isn’t a typical music documentary. It’s as personal as it gets,” says director Brooks. “I first saw the band live at the London Astoria in 1996. Since then, Life of Agony has become an absolute go-to when I felt alone and insecure about myself. This film is an intimate portrait that sheds light on the real life stories that make their music so vital and relevant.”
The film takes a deep dive into lead vocalist Mina Caputo’s gender transition. “We’ve never avoided tough conversations and we don’t pretend to have all the answers,” says Caputo. “But this film is a roadmap with many great lessons. It shows a ton of vulnerability… moments of falling downward and others where we rise strong. Enjoy this gift of imperfection. May you find the tools to be braver with this film.”
The deal was negotiated between Leigh Brooks of Firebelly Films, Richard Moxon of Moxon Media Consultants, Alan Robert and Joey Zampella of Life of Agony (LOA), and Raven Banner’s Michael Paszt, Michael Da Silva and James Fler.
“The Sound of Scars is one of the most intense ‘punch in the face’ documentaries we’ve seen in years,” states Raven Banner’s Michael Paszt. “We’re looking forward to sharing the band’s incredibly important story with everyone.”
The Sound of Scars utilizes personal archival footage, rare photographs and lost interviews, along with new, never-before-seen conversations with the band and their family members that tells the story of how three friends overcame domestic violence, substance abuse and depression to form one of the most influential bands in its genre. Through the success of their ground-breaking 1993 debut River Runs Red, hailed by Rolling Stone as “One of the Greatest Metal Albums of All Time”, they channelled their cumulative life stories into a soundtrack for a broken generation. At the time, that newfound fame allowed them to escape the tragedies of their pasts, but in the wake of their accomplishments, unforeseen obstacles arose.
“We’ve completely ripped our deepest selves open for this film,” says guitarist Joey Zampella. “The audience and our fan base will completely understand the mold we were broken from, and what this journey means to us.” “When we first started LOA over 30 years ago, I don’t think any of us could have predicted the impact that this band would have on so many people around the world,” says Alan Robert, bassist for Life of Agony. “We got together as a way of saving ourselves, but ultimately, through the music and the brutal honesty of the lyrics, we ended up saving so many others along the way.”