Our Hobby is Depeche Mode is co-directed by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller and filmmaker Nicholas Abrahams, who has worked has spanned music videos with Leftfield, Huggy Bear, Manic Street Preachers to shorts and features. From being a symbol of hope in Soviet-era Eastern Europe to acting as a form of rebellion for youths in Iran, Depeche Mode have exerted a powerful influence on their fans worldwide. This documentary meets the fans and hears their stories of faith and devotion.
Depeche Mode formed as an electronic synth group in Basildon, Essex, in 1980 and have become one of the world’s biggest-selling bands. Across the Soviet Union before the fall of Communism the band’s music was exchanged on bootlegged cassettes and formed part of the soundtrack of the years leading to the fall of the Iron curtain. The situation is echoed in Tehran where fans take risks listening to their music in a country that banned all Western music since the Islamic Revolution.
Our Hobby is Depeche Mode reflects on how people intimately embrace pop culture and then appropriate and use it in their own lives. As one of their myriad international fans says,
“It sounds crazy, but it’s our hobby. Depeche Mode isn’t just our passion. Other people go to the gym or do sport. Our hobby is Depeche Mode.”
For this project, Deller and co-director Nick Abrahams travelled to Russia, Mexico, the US, Germany, Romania, Iran, Brazil and Canada to film fans of the Basildon synth band. In Eastern European fans of Depeche Mode had been a symbol of resistance during the time of Communism, and then afterwards became a symbol of freedom. Buy Tickets
“A brilliant documentary”– The Sunday Telegraph
“A sad, funny portrait of pop music’s multiple confusions”– Sight & Sound
“Hilarious, brilliantly edited and politically fascinating”– Dazed and Confused
“A fantastic film”– Daniel Miller, Mute records
“If it’s wrong to get goosebumps watching a marching band play “Personal Jesus,” then we don’t want to be right”– LA Times