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The Search for Meaning – Abramorama picks up the Placebo documentary

Abramorama announced today they have acquired worldwide distribution rights to the feature-length rock documentary This Search For Meaning. This intimate and enlightening film explores the ideas that inhabit the lyrics and subject matter of Placebo’s songs, whilst charting their evolution as a group and as human beings. It is a fearless, truthful and forthright exploration of the creative process and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, along with its inevitable consequences. Abramorama will release the film in cinemas in September.

Since emerging from obscurity in the 1990s with provocative songs such as “Nancy Boy” and “Bruise Pristine”, Placebo forged a decidedly unfashionable path through the brazenly macho ‘Britpop’ scene to explore subjects such as the body politic and the continued erosion of our human rights and our individuality, the ever-growing epidemic of apathy in society and the hubris & corruption of those in power. Placebo seemed to be asking the questions no one else dared to, then dared the individual to find their own answers.

Photo Credit: Mads Perch

Rather than present a conventional origin story, Scottish award-winning filmmaker Oscar Sansom, known for his trailblazing work in music films, charts the band’s ongoing impact and legacy through a visual meditation on contemporary themes such as surveillance culture & scrutiny, sexuality & gender identity, addiction & trauma as well as the climate crisis. These significant and weighty themes are explored in both an informal and personally authored manner through brand new interviews with band members Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal. Both reflective and revealing, these interviews also underline Placebo’s ongoing socio-cultural curiosity and musical journey – a quest that continues in their chart-topping albums and sold-out live arena performances worldwide today.

In and around the band’s presence, we see contributions from other significant figures within the arts that either admire or have been inspired by Placebo. These entertaining and often emotive discussions are presented as a single, yet multi-faceted, overheard conversation – and include the likes of Shirley Manson (Garbage), Robbie Williams, Yungblud, Rebecca Lucy Taylor (Self Esteem), Joe Talbot (IDLES) as well as contemporary artist Stuart Semple. The result is honest and rewarding – capturing the sense that we are all just trying to figure out our place in this world; and hopefully making some sense of it too.

The film’s overall narrative is structured around incredible and completely new performances of Placebo’s latest songs – taken from their recent international hit album ‘Never Let Me Go’ – captured at Britain’s legendary Twickenham Film Studios, where The Beatles can be seen composing a new album in Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”; as well as intercut with archive footage of the band, and exclusive, never-before-seen, material that spans across their entire career, including their creative and personal collaboration with David Bowie and his enduring influence.

Produced by Amy James & Stefan Demetriou for London based Aldgate Pictures, for Renoir Pictures and Silva Screen ProductionsThis Search for Meaning is a film about seeking answers in our shared truths and collective experience, but, above all, one that wants to make sure we’re asking the right questions in the first place.

This Search for Meaning glimpses the band in a way that I do not believe they have been seen before,” said Director Oscar Sansom. “Brian and Stefan’s trust and bravery in embracing my, at times unconventional, approach in making the film has allowed an intimacy and honesty that I find truly courageous and striking. Their openness has, in turn, been mirrored by the other individuals who have added their voices to the project. This Search for Meaning continues a conversation that Brian and Stefan began back in 1994 when they first formed Placebo. My hope is that this film not only offers a small window into this incredible band and the boundary breaking work they have been producing over the past three decades but that it also functions as an invitation for audiences to become a part of that conversation.”

“Abramorama is ecstatic to share Oscar Sansom’s insightful and revealing documentary with Placebo fans around the world,” said Abramorama’s President & Head of International Distribution Evan Saxon. “The list of amazing artists who have been in Placebo’s sphere, the global reach of their fanbase and the longevity of Placebo’s career is to be admired and appreciated.”

THIS SEARCH FOR MEANING (UK, 88 minutes, English – Unrated) ABRAMORAMA presents This Search for Meaning. Directed by Oscar Sansom.

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