Unlocking the Truth, a metal band composed of three African-American seventh graders, is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Breaking a Monster. The music doc follows the unlikely trio – Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins – that scored a $1.8 million record deal with Sony Music Entertainment.
Breaking a Monster was directed by Luke Meyer, who follows the middle school metalheads around from the moment their first video went viral on YouTube. But like many young performers who stumble upon sudden success, the road to fame is fraught with uneasy demands, stress from parents and friends and tough life decisions.
“Originally I was asked to make a short film about the band when they were still gaining traction as street performers,” Meyer told film website IndieWire. “The short focused on what it’s like to be young and have unrestricted dreams about who you want to be in the world. In the case of Unlocking the Truth, because they’re so talented, those dreams didn’t feel as far-reaching as they might for some other kids.”
Breaking a Monster will be released this summer nationwide starting with a June 24 release in New York City and a July 1 release in Los Angeles.