Mutiny In Heaven: The Birthday Party

Documentary about The Birthday Party, Nick Cave’s first band, a post-punk group known for stark, explosive performances that collapsed due to mutual tensions and drug abuse.

Time & Tickets

‘In London whatever had been going on with punk had finished – and we hated, really hated what we were hearing, and we hated the place and hated the weather and we hated the fact that we had no money,’ Nick Cave said of The Birthday Party’s London years. ​The Birthday Party took their hatred of London and channelled it into a new body of work which demolished everything that had come before them. Their stage shows became closer to auto-destructive art performances than concerts – the band deliberately antagonising and provoking their audience while assaulting them with an apocalyptic maelstrom of sound. Consequently, they were frequently described as the most dangerous band in the world.

Nick Cave sees the years with The Birthday Party as a succession of police stations, rehabs, near-death experiences, suicidal thoughts, routine overdoses, broken bones, dead friends, fucked-up relationships, abscesses, car accidents, psychosis, malnutrition and life-threatening illnesses. And not ringing his mother on her birthday.

MUTINY IN HEAVEN brings the band’s dark, wryly amusing story to the screen for the first time. A story of rise and fall, creativity, addiction, fame, personal conflict and self-destruction, told through never-before-seen footage from the band members’ personal archives and with new interviews with the band members still alive. Rowland S. Howard is featured in interviews recorded shortly before his death in 2010.

Ian White, Australia, 2023, 98 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles.