Swedish House Mafia ‘Leave The World Behind’ in New Documentary
With Swedish House Mafia’s breakup having first been announced in 2012, it’s bound to seem a bit odd that the group is still releasing well into 2014 with its new Leave The World Behind documentary. Chronicling the group’s One Last Tour, the film pulls back the curtain, giving fans an unfiltered view of one of dance music’s brightest burning supergroups.
A countdown of the tour’s remaining shows provides a visceral reminder of the group’s impending demise throughout the film, providing the backbone and context of the group’s interactions and motivations. Interviews with Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello give insight into the group’s formation and inner workings, with the documentary taking viewers all the way back from its spontaneous origin to the creation of its smash hit “Don’t You Worry Child” and final show at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival 2013.
Executive producer Jonas Åkerlund’s influence is evident throughout the film with the sweeping crowd shots and dramatic low-contrast backstage vignettes bearing similarities to his work on Madonna’s 2005 Reinvention Tour documentary I’m Going to Tell You A Secret. The cinematography of the live shows is stunning, with the intricate details of the tour’s massive technical production and the sheer veracity of its attendees being showcased beautifully by director Christian Larson.
However, the most satisfying element of the documentary is finally being able to decipher just why Swedish House Mafia decided to call it quits. Despite initial comments from the trio that they wanted to go out on top, it becomes evident throughout the course of the tour that there is a growing distance between its members—Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello. Additionally, each member holds differing goals and motivations for the group. There are no down-and-out Real Housewives-style verbal brawls to be seen, but the film paints a refreshingly honest portrait of its subjects in contrast to the highly poised snapshots that most music documentaries tend to deliver.
Overall, Leave The World Behind—along with the companion One Last Tour: A Live Soundtrack release—serves as the perfect period to the lengthy sentence that is Swedish House Mafia’s final act. The electric live footage alone makes the film worth the price of admission, but it also manages to provide a compelling narrative to both diehard fans and the passive onlooker. Sit down and buckle in to experience one blazing chapter of EDM ‘One Last’ time.