Read R*E*P*E*A*T's interview with Elizabeth Marcus & Kurt Engfehr from 2009 here

‘A verite multimedia mash-up experiment that will turn the traditional rock’n’roll documentary upside-down and shake it until the change falls out of its pockets’


The UK cinema premier, featuring live Q&As with filmmakers Elizabeth Marcus and Kurt Engfehr,
plus additional concert footage.

Elizabeth Marcus is the Manic Street Preachers fan who lived the ultimate dream.

Invited to enter the band’s inner sanctum with a hand-held camera in 2005, she captured the NME’s Godlike Genius Award winners in their native Wales from which they’d exploded with their first album Generation Terrorists over two decades before.

And now she’s about to answer every Manic Street Preachers fan’s prayer with this long-awaited in-depth documentary feature.

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers, released in cinemas in January, is the American movie maker’s personal homage to a band whose restless reinvention, political awareness and uncompromising desire to be different has propelled them through the charts for almost three decades.

Told using interviews with nearly 100 fellow fans across the world, archive footage, intimate conversations at home with the band during the making of their 2007 album Send Away The Tigers, and live performances from three tours filmed especially for this project, it is a story of rock and roll endurance, respect and truth.


“I didn’t want to make a typical rock doc – a chronological story,” says Elizabeth, who directed and co-produced No Manifesto with partner Kurt Engfehr (Bowling For Columbine).

“The Manics’ aesthetic is to be a collage – to put together things that interest them and that may not fit together in an obvious way at first glance but have an underlying connection. I wanted to make a film like that – one that looks and feels more like a scrapbook than a narrative.

“And I wanted to make the fans a big part of it because it was largely the fan community that had inspired my enthusiasm for the band.”

Twelve years in the making, No Manifesto captures The Manics, lifelong pals James Dean Bradfield (singer/lead guitar), Nicky Wire (bass/lyricist) and Sean Moore (drums), approaching their 40s and coming to terms with what it means to be a middle-aged rock band – possibly the hardest realignment since the dramatic disappearance of their friend and fourth band member Richey Edwards in February 1995.

“Having to talk about Richey, although they really wanted to do it, was hard for them,” recalls Elizabeth. “They didn’t want to dwell on the fact of his absence. It was almost like he went out to buy a packet of cigarettes and he’ll be back any minute.”

The band continue to put aside royalties for Richey, ready for him to collect should he ever return to the Caerphilly mining town of Blackwood where they grew up.

“That’s what drives the band – their working class bond, their friendship. A lot of fans mention that in the interviews,” says Elizabeth. “The love for each other that’s seen them through all the ups and the downs.”

The downs included the critically cool reception to their 2004 album Lifeblood when they were forced to reassess their status.

“In the early 2000s their period of mass audiences had peaked,” says Elizabeth. “While we were making the film, they were exploring what it means not to be arena fillers any more but to still have a commercial audience – people who care about them and buy their records and always will.”

It’s that diverse and articulate fan base that’s uniquely captured on the film and holds the Manics’ mad montage of a career together in more ways than one.

“A typical Manics’ fan is less defined by what you can see on the outside; inside they all feel they don’t quite belong – in a positive, not a negative way,” says Elizabeth.

“There are some people who do the things that are expected of them and others with a restlessness and desire for something more exciting. That doesn’t have to mean wild and crazy and dramatic. It can just mean being proud of who you are.

“Like the fan in the title sequence says, ‘The Manic Street Preachers definitely taught me it’s OK to take pride in one’s intelligence, to believe in things, to believe in oneself, and to be sexy and fabulous while doing it!”

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers opens at The Chapter Cinema, Cardiff, on January 30 and continues on February 4 & 5. It is also showing at The Cornerhouse, Manchester (January 31); Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, London (February 2); Broadway Cinema, Nottingham (February 3); Curzon, Soho, London (February 4); and Glasgow Film Theatre (February 4).
Cardiff and Manchester screenings will include additional, exclusive concert material.

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers will be released simultaneously on DVD, Blu-ray and video on demand on February 16. It is a Wibbly Wobbly Productions picture, distributed in the UK by November Films.

No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers is an independently funded production from American director Elizabeth Marcus and co-producer/editor Kurt Engfehr.

"We must take literature and art, a component of the entire revolutionary machine, use it as a powerful weapon in uniting the people, attacking the enemy and destroying the enemy"

- Mao Tse-Tung