An intimate look at the Woodstock Music & Art Festival held in Bethel, NY in 1969, from preparation through cleanup, with historic access to insiders, blistering concert footage, and portraits of the concertgoers; negative and positive aspects are shown, from drug use by performers to naked fans sliding in the mud, from the collapse of the fences by the unexpected hordes to the surreal arrival of National Guard helicopters with food and medical assistance for the impromptu city of 500,000. Written by
Dan Hartung <email@example.com>
The reason the Jeff Beck Group pulled out of the festival was due to the fact that the band broke up a couple of weeks prior to the festival. Interestingly, the band's piano player Nicky Hopkins did perform at the festival with Jefferson Airplane. See more »
Oscar-winning documentary on the 3 day long concert back in 1969. Despite more people showing up than was expected and running out of food, water and medical supplies and dealing with a torrential downpour everything went fine. There was no rioting, no violence...just people helping each other out. The film beautifully captures all this. It contains interviews with the kids attending the concert (their views are absolutely incredible), people in the surrounding town, the police, media...all viewpoints are presented. Everything that comes through is tolerance, peace and love.
The musical acts are varied--you'll love some and hate others. For me the definite highlights were Joan Baez; the Who; Sha-Na-Na; Joe Cocker; Crosby Stills & Nash; John Sebastian; Country Joe McDonald; Sly and the Family Stone and Jimi Hendrix. Also the sound is great and there is superb editing during the sequences with excellent use of multiple screens.
I saw the directors cut with adds 40 minutes of music (bringing the running time up to 3 hours and 40 minutes). They add Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and another number by Hendrix. Except for the Joplin footage none of it is really good or needed. The original 3 hour cut is fine.
Warning--there's lots of swearing, nudity, sex and drug taking. It didn't bother me, but it might bother others.
A great one of a kind movie. Don't miss it!
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