Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation
Half a century later, travel back to the dairy farm that became for one weekend the red-hot center of the zeitgeist, with this doc that examines why it all happened and what it all meant.
Michael Wadleigh's original Woodstock doc, which came out the year after the 1969 rock festival, was a three-hour epic largely chronicling the performances; it became a box-office hit and an Oscar winner, and since has been re-released and re-re-released, always with more performance footage included. (Why not just release, once and for all, all that was filmed of the roughly 30 hours of music? People would buy it.) This doc, on the other hand, "turns the cameras around, into the audience," says one producer of this latest chapter in PBS's popular "American Experience" series. Attendees and others who remember the "three days of music and art" try to figure out, half a century on, how Max Yasgur's muddy dairy farm became for one weekend the red-hot center of the zeitgeist; why it left an enduring pop-culture legacy (four commemorative anniversary concerts, a classic Joni Mitchell song, and a "Peanuts" character, to name just a few examples); and if its message of community can outlive the tireless efforts, in the decades since, of one of our country's two major political parties (and occasionally both of them) to expunge any trace even of compassion, not to mention peace and love, from governmental policies and our national character.
Over 25 years, Barak Goodman has become one of the most prolific and respected non-fiction filmmakers in America. A co-founder of Ark Media, his films have been nominated for an Academy Award® and won multiple Emmy and Writers Guild Awards, DuPont-Columbia, and Peabody Awards, the RFK Journalism Prize, and three times been official selections at the Sundance Film Festival. He has recently completed Slay The Dragon with Participant Media, a film about gerrymandering and voter suppression that premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
Sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM, The Walls Vineyards , Poquitos, Capitol Hill Block Party
- Director: Barak Goodman, Jamila Ephron
- Country: USA
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 106 minutes
- Producer: Jamila Ephron, Barak Goodman
- Screenplay: Don Kleszy, Barak Goodman
- Editors: Don Kleszy
- Filmography: Slay the Dragon (Doc., 2019); Oklahoma City (Doc., 2017); Clinton (Doc., 2012)
- Language: English
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: PBS Theatrical