Neil Young Journeys is the third documentary from director Jonathan Demme about Neil Young. Presumably, Demme continues to find things about the venerable singer-songwriter that pique his interest. Based on this film alone, Young seems fascinating enough a character to have many more movies made around him.

The movie was mainly shot in two locations. The first was Toronto’s Massey Hall, where Young performed last year as a “homecoming,” forty years after first playing there. The second was Omemee, the small town in Ontario where Young grew up. Demme alternates between the concert and following Young on a tour of Omemee, watching and listening as he reminisces about his childhood and notes how much the town has changed.

The scenes at Massey Hall are shot in a most unusual way for a music documentary. Demme eschews dynamic, constantly moving views for simple setups and compositions. Often, he places cameras on Young’s instruments or microphones, giving extreme close-ups of him as he sings. The songs are often shot in single takes; at one point, a drop of spittle splats on a microphone camera, and Demme does not cut away. It holds steady for the rest of the performance, with Young as close to being in the theatergoers’ faces for as possible. The Massey audience, though often heard, is never seen on camera until the very end of the film. The moviegoer is not made a part of the original concert; this doc is its own kind of entertainment.

In contrast to the steady frame of the musical sections, the scenes in Omemee are shot on handheld, lending a very real, down-to-Earth tone that works with the intimate feel of a man showing you his childhood. The hamlet is mostly nothing like Young remembers anymore, but as long as he has those memories, he’s okay with that. As a man moving into the twilight years of life, he now has more memory than actual evidence of what has happened to him.

Even though the Massey concert takes up most of the screen time, it really serves to underscore the Omemee segments. Young’s heartfelt, blisteringly personal lyrics lay bare his soul for all. Seeing where he is coming from helps to contextualize those words, and find a deeper understanding of Young and his music.

Demme understands that less is more. He doesn’t spend great lengths of time having Young monologue about his past experiences. When Young sings a song he wrote for his son Ben, all Demme has to show is a brief clip on Ben at a different performance, and he says everything that needs to be said. The doc is peppered with little home movies of Young, as well as historical photographs accompanying his political songs, and they heft a great emotional weight for how fleeting they are.

Neil Young Journeys might not affect the average viewer as much as it will diehard fans of the musician. But it is a lovely portrait of a man who wrestles with a deep and heavy history. After all these years, Young is still able to effectively channel his struggles into his art, which can’t be said for many other aged rockers. This documentary is a powerful testament to that skill, and the life that produced and continues to produce it.