By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
In 2014, the Albertan punk-metal-country band The Smalls reunited for a true farewell tour and for directors Trevor Smith and John Kerr, they nicely captured the rawness and love Western Canada has for this group in their documentary The Smalls: Forever is a Long Time. Through candid interviews with the band and industry observers, viewers come to understand where each member has come from, where are they now, and why they decided to perform one last time. Whatever the reason was behind the break-up, the explanations are alluded to instead of spelling it out point-blank.
This documentary does not focus on the negative. It sweetly looks at the positive. This product also nicely works as a primer to those who have not grown up with The Smalls. Not everyone was exposed to their music when they were at their height in the 90’s and to follow the scene means being a die-hard enthusiast.
In what this movie presents is a very great look at their work from their rise to their sudden disappearance in the scene. A few conversations include why they did not do as well in Eastern Canada, and as for whether they had a world-wide influence, that’s for the fan to decide. Not every detail is spelled out for viewers to take note of, but at least in terms of how they ended it, the framing of this narrative is on the nose. The Smalls were indeed a phenomenon and when the music ends, what they have given are fantastic, lasting memories. That’s no easy feat.
4 Stars out of 5