Competition Documentary Feature
Dons of Disco
Directed by: Jonathan Sutak
USA/Germany/Italy, 2018, 86m
*Talent in attendance for second screening
In the ‘80s excess was king. Never was this more evident than in the bright lights and big beats world of pop music. Enter Den Harrow, one of Italy’s biggest superstars with an even bigger secret: he was actually two men. One was his face, and one was his voice. But this is no run-of-the-Milli Vanilli story. In the world of pop, doesn’t the presence matter just as much—or perhaps more than—the voice? Thirty years after the hits “Bad Boy,” “Don’t Break My Heart,” and “Future Brain,” American singer Thomas Barbey makes it known that he was actually the voice of Den Harrow. The lip-syncing scandal escalates into a bitter war between Barbey (the voice) and Italian model Stefano Zandri (the face). Funny, ferocious, and outstandingly petty, hell hath no fury like a pop star scorned, with both men proving to be vicious egomaniacs who will stop at nothing to be the “true” Den Harrow.
Can a soul music masterpiece be recorded in one take … in 30 minutes … in a prison … in 1979?