If the pandemic has taught has anything, it’s the value of having other people in our lives.
Directed by Brittany Farhat, July Talk: Love Lives Here follows the iconic Toronto band as they prepare for one of their more unique projects: a drive-in concert during the height of the global pandemic. As they attempt to navigate the logistical nightmare that was unfolding around them, Farhat also explores the legacy of the band’s music and passions. To them, this isn’t just a night out underneath the stars but an opportunity to help communicate with the outside world, even if they’re in their cars.
On the surface, Farhat uses many of the tropes that anchor previous concert films. Shooting in black and white gives the band a certain classical feel and she emphasizes the band’s music to highlight their talent. Through interviews and archival footage, Farhat digs deeply into the last decade of the band’s work to highlight their rise to fame and give insight into the way that they view the world. Admittedly, on the surface, this is all fairly standard stuff for documentaries. Though, what make Love Lives Here special is the moment in time that it captures.
Set in the summer of 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, we all remember the chaos and fear that embedded our culture. This was a time when we yearned to be together but needed to stay apart. People were arguing about the facts of Covid and fought over whether or not to wear a mask in public.
Yet, in the midst of the madness, July Talk saw an opportunity.
While certainly their drive-in concert did provide them a chance to promote their new material, it quickly became something far more important. To the band, the concert was a way to bring people together at a time when no one else seemed to know how. This concert was a moment of rebuilding community when we desperately needed it.
What’s more, Farhat uses her film to highlight the bands passion for global and social issues. While addressing their fight for community during the pandemic, Lives Here also highlights their passion to deal with racial tensions and gender equity. Farhat’s film leans into the soul of the band as opposed to simply their talent and appeal. In Lives Here, we watch as the band attempts to create safe spaces for all involved. Whether it’s Covid, sexuality or racial identity, July Talk wants everyone to feel as though they belong.
To them, everyone matters.
It’s this heart behind it that makes Lives Here a wonderful project. Just by the way that the film is constructed, we can tell that Farhat’s love for the band is rooted in their love for others. In this way, July Talk: Love Lives Here is much more than about music. It’s about bringing people together and offering them hope.
And that’s always worth Talking about.
July Talk: Love Lives Here is available in theatres on Friday, May 26th, 2023.