A strange blend of fiction and reality, 20,000 Days On Earth gives us a glimpse into the world of one of rock’s most enigmatic figures. The film depicts 24 hours in the life of musician and wordsmith Nick Cave as he begins work on 2013’s Push the Sky Away, bares his soul to a psychiatrist and drives around Brighton in the rain chatting with the likes of Kylie. Live footage will appeal to the fans but 20,000 Days… is equally as accessible for those unfamiliar with Nick Cave – the character he plays is by itself intriguing enough to captivate.
20,000 Days… is many things but ultimately it is an exploration of Cave’s relationship with music and performing, the transformation within him that occurs from this, and the world he creates. He seems to spend as much time living in the world that he constructs through his art as he does in the real world, and the merging of documentary and fiction unusual to rock biopics reflects this. It is sometimes difficult to decipher whether 20,000 Days On Earth is documentary disguised as fiction or fiction disguised as documentary, just as it is unclear if the man we see on the screen is the real Nick Cave – the enigma remains.