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Michael Beach Nichols,
Christopher K. Walker
The 1960's alumni of the Berkeley campus tell their stories about how the quiet school became the site of massive political activism on the part of students fighting for their right of political expression on campus and then against the Vietnam War. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"... worst yet, we attracted to Berkeley, the worst collection of kooks and nuts you've ever seen in your life. Everybody saw this on television, and they had a completely distorted conception of it. They thought, 'what you do is you go to Berkeley, and you riot and you just have a great time; its one big political, sexual, drug feast.'" TC:38.52
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For many people, the great protests of the 60s began somewhere around 1966. "Berkeley In the 60s" dispels this notion, delving into the roots of the radical protest movements which began in Berkeley as early as 1960.
Overall, the film is a fantastic historical perspective of the 1960s, providing info about such revolutionaries as Mario Savio and Huey Newton. It is focused almost entirely on Berkeley, California and its magnetic subculture which attracted potential activists from all parts of the country.
Several interviews provide insight into the various causes and allow one to see the events through the eyes of those which played an integral part. Included in the interviews are moving testimonies about the "establishment" which make one wonder how society could have been so restrictive to free speech, especially given the climate of today's college campuses.
It must be noted, however, that the film is decidedly slanted, offering an anti-establishment view complete with taped press conferences of then-Governor Ronald Reagan ("the mess in Berkeley"). Those who are staunch conservatives may find themselves actually arguing with the TV screen as a result of some of the ways facts are presented. I would offer, however, that everyone should view the film as a historical perspective because there were many events which are depicted which have shaped present-day society.
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