IF I LEAVE HERE TOMORROW: A FILM ABOUT LYNYRD SKYNYRD
Cleveland, Nashville, Macon, deadCenter
A history and appreciation of the legendary Southern rock band.
In his latest music doc, director Stephen Kijak chronicles the sometimes tragic history of the iconic band behind “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird,” particularly focusing on the 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of frontman Ronnie Van Zant and several others. Taking a largely chronological approach, the well-produced film tracks the origins and early years of the Jacksonville FL band, and details how the hardworking bandmates crossed over with their honky-tonk Americana. While Kijak addresses the band’s adoption of the controversial Confederate flag as a symbol – mandated by their record company – the warm film otherwise steers fairly clear of overt politics to relate instead the closeness of its members, the consequences of the plane crash, and the continued impact of Van Zant’s loss more than four decades ago.