Stones in Exile

Rated 4.0

Stephen Kijak’s entertaining documentary Stones in Exile chronicles that brief period in 1972 when the Rolling Stones paused between fleeing England as tax cheats and getting arrested on drug charges to record the greatest rock ‘n’ roll album of all time. The film shows how the strangled sound and sprawling scope of Exile on Main St. were direct results of the band’s recording environment—most of the tracks were recorded in the basement of Keith Richard’s debauchery-laden South France mansion during a sweltering summer—and the member’s messy and unsettled lives. Neither Kijak nor the band members give much insight into the band’s artistic process, their personal journeys or the album’s significance (they don’t even mention my favorite song, “Sweet Black Angel”) but the lithe and colorful Stones in Exile does offer a wealth of invaluable footage and archival material.