Mistaken for Strangers is a tale of two siblings rather than your usual hedonistic rock doc. Tom Berninger’s lo-fi filming strips away all glamour and lays bare the mundanity behind any success.
The unavoidable egomania of fronting a band is explored through the lens of Tom’s struggle “to make something good, for him, as well as for myself” – a telling statement of how much Tom is influenced by his older sibling. Tom is a hilariously unconventional filmmaker and roadie, providing entertaining snippets of band life, but his film shines best when it gets most personal.
Brilliant when exploring the creative process and the internal struggle any artist faces to make something good despite their doubts and fears. Unfortunately, the end result is too disjointed to maintain this emotion and insight.
CAST: Tom Berninger, Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf
DIRECTOR: Tom Berninger
SYNOPSIS: Serial underachiever Tom follows in the shadow of his rockstar brother Matt, lead singer of The National, in a documentary about their relationship and the making of this film.