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Green Day to release gritty, behind-the-scenes doc looking back on American Idiot

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Green Day will release a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of 2004’s rock opera, American Idiot, the band’s seventh politically-charged record, later adapted into a Broadway production. Entitled Heart Like a Hand Grenade, the doc marks the first time that the band allowed cameras into the studio and chronicles the album’s development over nine months. It’s certainly not a traditional rock doc: indie filmmaker John Roecker, known for stop-motion animated film Live Freaky! Die Freaky! about the Manson murders and his involvement in the LA punk scene, directed the gritty film.

“It is a film that inspires,” said Roecker in a statement on the band’s website. “It is also a very small film. All it took was a box of tapes and one camera. Going back to the D.I.Y. ethic that I was raised with. It was also a risk for the band because this album was either going to take them to a higher level or sink them. Either way I was going to document it.”

Roecker described the movie, which was first aired at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater in 2009 to 400 fans, as a ‘fly-on-the-wall art house piece.’ Alongside editor Dean Gonzalez, the director edited 300 hours of video into a two-hour close up of how American Idiot — from early rehearsals to the first live performance at the Henry Fonda Theater in September 2004 — came to be. “It’s like a home movie, but with a really talented family,” said Roecker at the film’s 2009 opening in Hollywood (via the LA Times).

Heart Like a Hand Grenade hits theaters October 15. It’ll cap off a retrospective year for the nearly 30 year-old band led by Billie Joe Armstrong. In April, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “This is more than an award,” wrote Armstrong on Green Day’s Instagram reflecting on the honor. “It’s the privilege to play music, write songs and follow this psychotic passion called rock n roll.”

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