Toronto Film Review: ‘Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band’

Forty-one years after the theatrical release of “The Last Waltz,” Robbie Robertson gets the last word on that era in “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band,” a documentary picked by the Toronto Int’l Film Festival as its opening night gala premiere.

It covers Robertson’s tenure in the Band from the group’s early ’60s origins through that final concert in 1976, famously documented by Martin Scorsese (who serves as an executive producer here).

To the survivor as well as the raconteur go the spoils, and Robertson is nothing if not both those things.“Once Were Brothers” is essentially a movie adaptation of Robertson’s 2016 autobiography, “Testimony: A Memoir.” Just as the book ended with the tale of “The Last Waltz” (he’s working on a sequel now), so the film takes its leave there, too, although “Brothers” does include something he was presumably saving for the second

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