LOS ANGELES – The Southern California rock band The Eagles of Death Metal were thrust into the harshest of spotlights on Nov. 13, 2015, when terrorists in Paris took the lives of 130 people, including 89 at the band’s concert at the Bataclan music hall.
That attack is the subject of a new HBO documentary directed by Colin Hanks, son of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks. But the sister of a man killed at the Bataclan is not happy, saying HBO and the producers failed to respond to her letters requesting an advance screening and information about the movie.
“The Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis,” slated to air Feb. 13, explores the aftershocks of the terrorist attack and the band’s return to the Paris stage three months later. The trailer opens with the band performing at the Bataclan when the screen cuts to black as a succession of gunshots rings out.
“Every time I listen to it, we hear the gunshots right away – the same gunshots that killed my brother. He was apparently one of the first ones to be shot,” Nathalie Dubois-Sissoko, a French-born U.S. citizen and CEO of brand strategy firm Dubois Pelin and Associates, told Fox News. “The objective of this is to attract the most viewers, to profit on this horrible tragedy.”
“I feel I am living through the nightmare of that night once again,” DuBois-Sissoko said. “The teaser is everywhere on social media, the media, interviews and HBO has been announcing it a few times a day on its channels. I reached out to the filmmakers and got no answer. Our lives will never be the same. This is exploiting the deaths of dozens of innocent people.”
Dubois-Sissoko’s brother, Fabrice Dubois, was a senior copywriter for the Paris advertising agency Publis Conseil. Survived by his wife and two young children, DuBois was the only person in a group of friends attending the concert that night to have been killed.
Acknowledging that his film centers on the horrible event, Hanks told Fox News at its Los Angeles premiere that while “Nos Amis” does “maybe on the surface look like it is just dealing with a horrible event, it is a story about friendship and understanding.” Hanks said much of the movie is devoted to pulling back the curtain on the decades-long friendship between founding members Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, both old friends of his, and explores their survivor’s guilt and trauma.
The film’s rep did not respond to a comment request as to whether or not any proceeds from the production would go to any victims’-related charities, and a spokesperson for HBO said they weren’t aware of any charity components. Hughes and Homme stressed that they weren’t taking part for any financial gain.
“One thing that is important to me is that this isn’t for money or attention. Any money that comes in here I am giving away,” Homme said. “They may have started this sentence with an attack, but the punctuation should be something that’s uplifting. I hope that survivors are OK with it because it is difficult to get this stuff right.”
But Dubois-Sissoko said benefiting charities still wouldn’t be enough.
“Money should not be donated, there should be no bottom line,” she said. “It isn’t about money here. Making money off the death of people is sick. I doubt that there would have been a film if there was no terrorist attack.”
One survivor, however, said “Nos Amis” has helped him. Arthur Denouveaux was at the Bataclan that night, and is featured in the film. He said that taking part was healing, and forced him to reflect on what happened that terrible night and on his future.
Jamie Brennan contributed to this report.