Julien Temple’s experimental documentary is, I suppose, a silent movie in the sense that it was made without synchronised recorded sound. Like its genre forebears, it swaps dialogue for title cards. Yet with its booming dance music soundtrack, selected by DJ Fatboy Slim, it could hardly be called silent. Opening with Joe Smooth’s 1987 house track Promised Land, the film tells of the paradisiacal Mediterranean island and its Phoenician beginnings; how those ancient bacchanals paved the way for super-parties and mega-clubs such as Pacha, Ushuaïa and Amnesia. Temple’s chopped and screwed approach combines archive footage of ravers with fictionalised re-enactments, stock footage and animated illustrations to explain Ibiza’s fascinating geographical and political histories as well as its legacy as a decadent tourist destination.
Simran Hans is a film critic for the Observer and a culture writer whose work has appeared in, among others, BuzzFeed, Dazed, the FADER and Sight & Sound.