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The Devil And Daniel Johnston review

A partisan documentary portrait of Daniel Johnston, cult American singer-songwriter and artist, whose fans include Sonic Youth, Tom Waits and the late Kurt Cobain. Raiding a treasure-trove of found footage, including Super 16mm home movies and audio tapes, director Jeff Feuerzeig guides the viewer through the turbulent life and times of his prolific subject, whose manic depression has led to lengthy stays in psychiatric hospitals.

 

The Devil And Daniel Johnston is most interesting in its examination of how his Christian fundamentalist parents and loyal friends have learnt to deal with his illness and interest in bizarre Satanic conspiracies. Yet, despite plenty of compelling stories, you might struggle with his supporters' claims that Johnston's musical talent is on a level with Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson.

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