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PLACEBO Announce Theatrical Release of Fearless and Forthright Rockumentary, ‘THIS SEARCH FOR MEANING’

Placebo have today announced the theatrical release of their fearless, unfiltered, and forthright second feature-length documentary, This Search For Meaning. More than just a surface-level look at the band’s storied career, the film delves deep into ideas and themes that have permeated the lyrics and subject matter of Placebo’s expansive musical catalog.

Emerging from obscurity in the 1990s with provocative songs like ‘Nancy Boy’ and ‘Bruise Pristine’, Placebo carved out an unfashionable path through the macho ‘Britpop’ scene. They used their music to explore weighty subjects – the body politic, the erosion of human rights and individuality, the growing apathy in society, and the hubris and corruption of those in power. Placebo boldly asked questions that others avoided, challenging listeners to find their own answers.

Rather than going for a conventional origin story, Scottish award-winning filmmaker Oscar Sansom (Down by the River Thames, Biffy Clyro: A Celebration of Endings) charts the ongoing impact and legacy of the band. He explores contemporary themes through a visual meditation, including surveillance, culture and scrutiny, sexuality and gender identity, addiction and trauma, and the climate crisis, navigating such vital themes in a personally authored way with brand new interviews with band members Brian and Stefan. Both reflective and revealing, these interviews draw particular emphasis in Placebo’s perennial sociocultural curiosity and musical journey, which remains at the forefront to this day through their chart-topping albums and sold-out live arena performances all around the globe.

The documentary also features insightful contributions from numerous influential figures in the arts who either admire or have been inspired by the band. These entertaining and often emotive discussions are presented as a cohesive, multi-faceted, overheard conversation from the likes of Shirley Manson (Garbage), Robbie Williams, Yungblud, Rebecca Lucy Taylor (Self Esteem), Joe Talbot (IDLES), and contemporary artist Stuart Semple. The result is an honest and rewarding exploration, capturing the universal human struggle to find our place in the world and make sense of it.

The film’s narrative is structured around brand new performances of Placebo’s latest songs from ‘Never Let Me Go,’ recorded at the legendary Twickenham Film Studios. This footage is intercut with archive material spanning Placebo’s career, including their creative partnership and personal collaboration with David Bowie and his enduring influence.

Commenting on the documentary, Sansom says, “This Search for Meaning glimpses the band in a way that I do not believe they have been seen before … 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.”

Be sure to sign up here to receive the latest news about the documentary. You can also follow the band on their official website, InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Mads Perch


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