Singing For Social Change
Filmmaker Kenneth Bowser makes no attempt to hide his admiration for Ochs. Using archival footage of Ochs in performance and interviews, along that with of political rallies and Vietnam War battles, Bowser pays tribute to the young musician who rallied millions of supporters with his protest songs about civil rights, workers' rights, soldiers' rights, poor people's rights and other topical subjects and events that effect the lives of common folk and condition their outlooks. Although he never achieved the the same star-studded fame and commercial success that rival Bob Dylan did, Ochs was a cultural force to be reckoned with.
The likable Ochs was the center of a circle of friends that included Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, among other activists, many of whom are interviewed in this film and speak highly of its lead character. But Ochs, who had what seemed to be an easy and outgoing personality, was plagued by severe manic depression that caused him to teeter between intense and unsustainable flashes of creative energy and optimism and, alternatively, by long stints of paralyzing despair.
Life's High and Low Notes
The film;s ending is deeply effecting. His death was tragic. Thank goodness we have his wonderful recordings and this excellent documentary to mark Phil Ochs' moment in history.
If You Like This Documentary, You May Also Like:
- Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune
- Director: Kenneth Bowser
- Release Date: January 5, 2011
- DVD Release Date: July 19, 2011
- Running Time: 112 mins.
- Parental Advisory: Content advisory for parents
- Country: USA
- Location: USA
- Language: English
- Distribution Company: First Run Features
- Official Website