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Growing Up in America (1988)

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Documentary on 1960s radicals in the U.S.A.


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Title: Growing Up in America (1988)

Growing Up in America (1988) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Credited cast:
Don Cox ...
Fred Hampton Jr. ...
Fred Hampton ...
Himself (archive footage)
Abbie Hoffman ...
Deborah Johnston ...
William Kunstler ...
Timothy Leary ...
Jerry Rubin ...
Deborah Russell ...
John Sinclair ...


What happened to the hippies, the yippies, the Black Panthers, the counter- culture kids who rocked the nation's boat in the 1960's? Are they still fighting their fight, have they been co-opted into the culture they fought to overthrow, or were they destroyed by the culture while they struggled? Morley Markson shows us archival footage of some of the leaders - Jery Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Fred Hampton, John Sinclair, among others - as well as people like poet Allen Ginsburg and lawyer William Kunstler, who represented the Chicago 8 during that seminal trial in 1969 - and then interviews them watching the old footage, to find an answer those questions. Written by Gary Dickerson <>

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3 May 1989 (USA)  »

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'60s radicalism, then and now
25 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whatever happened to the political malcontents of the 1960s? In Morley Markson's timely update the decade's most notorious radicals, now older and (in some cases) wiser, reflect back over the intervening years to the conflicts they created (and which in turn created them). Markson makes his admiration obvious but never places anyone on a pedestal, choosing instead to simply compare the ideals of yesterday with the compromises of today, using dramatic side-by-side footage of each individual and letting the audience draw its own conclusions. A few portraits show evidence of judicious editing to put the subject in a kinder light, but each story illustrates to a different degree the struggle with changing times, and the fadeout on a lonely but optimistic Abbie Hoffman has a special poignancy in light of his subsequent death by suicide. As Yippie-turned-Yuppie Jerry Rubin said, with pointed sarcasm, back in 1968: "We know what growing up in America means!" But only after twenty years (and more) of hindsight could the knowledge be properly put into perspective.

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