This film puts you right in the middle of the chaos that enveloped musicians, their lovers and surrounding cast of characters (some invited and some not) that showed up at Nellcote, the estate Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg moved into on the French Riviera after leaving England. Most of Exile On Main Street was recorded in the steamy, dingy basement of the otherwise luxurious villa overlooking the Mediterranean under conditions that make it amazing a record came out of the sessions at all, but also contributed to what made it such a landmark release.
As surprising as some of the comments and scenes Jagger, Richards and Charlie Watts (who share producing credit) elected to leave in the final cut are some of the far from flattering remarks about Mick and Keith and the madness of what was going on left in interviews from members Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman in bonus footage.
While there is a lot less film footage in Exile (some of it from the notorious Cocksucker Blues) than in the Doors movie, director Stephen Kijak and producer John Battsek manage to create the impression there is much more by applying some of the techniques Ken Burns pioneered that give the feel of live action to footage that relies on still photos. What emerges is an amazing chronicle of one of the more bizarre chapters in Rock history and a fascinating look at the creative process prevailing against overwhelming odds.