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Ian Curtis (Sam Riley) has aspirations beyond the trappings of small town life in 1970's England. Wanting to emulate his musical heroes such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop, he joins a band and his musical ambition begins to thrive.
Soon though, the everyday fears and emotions that fuel his music slowly begin to eat away at him. Married young, with a daughter, he is distracted from his family commitments by a new love and the growing expectations of his band.
The strain manifests itself in his health. With epilepsy adding to his guilt and depression, desperation takes hold. Surrendering to the weight on his shoulders, Ian’s tortured soul consumes him.