Bono, U2 doc will open Toronto International Film Festival

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A film about Bono and U2 will kick off the Toronto International Film Festival. Organizers on Tuesday announced that ‘From the Sky Down,’ Davis Guggenheim’s documentary about the mega-band, will open the North American film showcase on Sept. 8.

Guggenheim, who won an Oscar for the environmental film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and directed last year’s education-reform documentary ‘Waiting for Superman,’ said that his new movie traces the arc of an act that has defied conventional wisdom. ‘In the terrain of rock bands, implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull toward destruction,’ he said in a statement.

U2 began life about three decades ago by making politically inflected rock songs and has reinvented its sound numerous times. It’s one of the all-time top-grossing acts, with Bono of course regarded as a prominent activist for numerous causes, particularly in the Third World.

The ‘Sky’ choice is rare for Toronto, which in its 35 previous editions has never opened with a documentary and frequently opens with a Canadian film (last year’s opener was ‘Score: A Hockey Musical’). Organizers have not said whether Bono will come to the festival.


Guggenheim has actually previously come to Toronto with a doc featuring a member of U2 -- 2008’s ‘It Might Get Loud.’ That movie included U2 guitarist The Edge as well as The White Stripes’ Jack White and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

Guggenheim’s look at the rock and activism of U2 will be joined north of the border by Cameron Crowe’s ‘Pearl Jam 20,’ about the iconic Seattle grunge band, which the festival announced Tuesday will make its world premiere at the festival.


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How did Davis Guggenheim become the right-wing’s favorite filmmaker?

--Steven Zeitchik