Mistaken for Strangers

This is a documentary filmed by Tom Berninger, younger brother of Matt Berninger, who is the lead singer for the rock band The National. Tom accompanies his older brother and the band on tour as a member of the road crew. He brings along his camera equipment and surprises the band by filming them pretty much all the time, from what I can see.

Tom kind of drifts through the crew. He’s unfamiliar with the band’s music — he likes heavy metal — and he’s focused on having a good time. I got the sense he went along on the tour just to get out of the house.

But his film is a winner. It doesn’t hurt that I like the band’s music, but the film is about much more than that. It’s about the relationship between the brothers. Matt is a success after years of paying his dues, and Tom is seemingly left behind, still living with his parents in Cincinnati, wondering who he is.  In spite of all the distance — in age, accomplishment and temperament — between these two, in the end it’s about their connection. Something many brothers and sisters will recognize.

Mistaken for Strangers is not sappy at all, very funny in some places, and laced with energetic performance scenes.  The film made everyone in it seem real — not rock gods, but people who work hard and struggle for success. It was fun to watch.

More info about Mistaken for Strangers is at IMDb.