Nashville Film Festival Opening Night Review: Bee Gees HBO Documentary

'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart' swoons you with the heart and soul of The Bee Gees.

Nashville Film Festival Bee Gees Documentary
HBO/Lennox McClendon/AP/Shutterstock

Nashville Film Festival kept us “Stayin’ Alive” thanks to their opening night film, The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart. Below is our full review of the nearly two-hour-long documentary which chronicles the rise of The Bee Gees.

The film, which was directed/produced by Frank Marshall and produced by Nigel Sinclair, opens with the brothers singing the title song to an enthusiastic crowd. That transitions into Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb discussing their musical inspirations including Smokey Robinson and Otis Redding.

Speaking of Otis Redding, in the film, we find out that The Bee Gee’s song “To Love Somebody” was initially written for Redding to release but, days later, before he could record it, he passed away in a plane crash. This is just one example of what this documentary taught me about music — and this legendary band.

It also lets fans in on the songwriting process of The Bee Gees. Their process was a pretty unusual one, too. Not only do we see how they’re able to create these iconic songs but we also get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how talented each brother is as a writer.

Throughout the film, we’re also able to see just what it’s like to work with family. While it can be one of the greatest gifts, it can also be a curse. When the band split up, it was no longer just about them. It was about their wives and their families — and overcoming obstacles in front of them.

We obviously also get to witness the trio get back together in the documentary and that’s when we see the story of “Stayin’ Alive.” The song’s deep meaning is revealed while we also get to see how much they value meaningful lyrics.

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart then goes on to show viewers one of the greatest moments in the band’s history. Of course, we’re talking about Saturday Night Fever and its legendary soundtrack. Through this unique angle, we’re able to see how they managed to put their own spin on it, thus helping it become one of the best-selling albums of all time.

In conclusion, one of the most incredible things about this documentary is that it takes us through both the highs and the lows of The Bee Gees. How they transformed themselves through all the adversity, whether it was the breakup or the disco era, and then rose to the occasion to reinvent who they are.

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart swoons you with the heart and soul of The Bee Gees.