SXSW Movie Review: We Are Wizards

SXSW is a film festival that celebrates the long tail of indie films. The first two documentaries I've seen at SXSW have in one way or another focused on the idea of pop-culture escapism. Second Skin took a look at the addicted video gamers that inhabit the online virtual worlds, and now We Are Wizards takes a look at a niche within a niche, Wizard Rock, a musical genre which was born out of the Harry Potter novels.

Harry and the Potters had their first public show in a Boston area library. The geeky duo now tour the country with hundreds of fans attending each show. Wizard Rock was born, and a whole new genre of music was created. We get a glimpse at some of the other bands that make up this weird niche, including The Hungarian Horntails, DJ Luna Lovegood, Draco and the Malfos, and a young brother duo (which was cute for a few moments, but probably should have been cut from the film).

The Wizard Rock stuff was a lot of fun, but the film loses its way by mixing the story of a webmaster of a Harry Potter fansite, and a legal battle between Warner Bros and other fan sites. It's not that these stories weren't interesting, they just didn't fit well with the Wizard Rock material. The documentary has a identity crisis and doesn't know exactly what it wants to be. It clearly isn't a documentary about Harry Potter fans, because so many areas of Harry Potter fandom are excluded from this story.

We Are Wizards could be a great documentary if it were 20 or 30 minutes shorter. But the lack of focus is a serious issue.

/Film Rating: 7 out of 10