Berkeley in the Sixties (1990)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  26 March 1992 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 574 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

A documentary about militant student political activity in the University of California-Berkely in the 1960's.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Jentri Anders ...
Herself (archive footage)
Frank Bardacke ...
Himself (archive footage)
John De Bonis ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hardy Frye ...
John Gage ...
Himself (archive footage)
Todd Gitlin ...
Themselves (archive footage) (as The Grateful Dead)
Susan Griffin ...
Herself / Narrator
David Hilliard ...
Himself (archive footage)
Clark Kerr ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Clark Kerr)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The untold story of students in the 60s




Not Rated




Release Date:

26 March 1992 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Berkeley in the Sixties - Die Geburt der 68er Bewegung  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Searle: "... 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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User Reviews

Fabric of '60s Counterculture Politics : Weaving the Threads via Berkeley
14 January 2005 | by (Denver CO, United States) – See all my reviews

This is a superb, valuable documentary.

Berkeley was at the epicenter as the counterculture politics of the '60s emerged. And revisiting the political ferment of '60s Berkeley can offer an unusually helpful overview of these interwoven political currents. This film does that very, very well.

The fascinating footage (including early glimpses at Reagan as a relatively new "pol"), the deft editing, the years-later retrospective reflections of "now-grown-up" participants in the Berkeley "FSM" (Free Speech Movement) -- these are all very engaging, and beautifully assembled. But what makes the film great for me is its clarity in reflecting the interplay of counterculture themes: the movements for free speech and for civil rights, the movement against the Vietnam War, and assertion of the new feminism. Along with the energetic pursuit of "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," these elements – blended into one 'tsunami' of a movement -- were experienced by us all coming of age during that time, throughout the US and throughout much of the world. But as a young person during that era, who became very swept up in the self-proclaimed "dawning of the Age of Aquarius," I recall also feeling unclear on how these ideological components -- which otherwise seemed to me distinct and substantively unrelated – became intertwined in the social politics of that era.

Whether the film is slanted, and whether "The Movement" was positive or negative, seem to me besides the point. The Movement was; like it or not, that reality is indisputable. From varying perspectives, our entire culture experienced it, and was affected by it. Most of the many millions of us on college campuses during that time were forever changed -- for good, for ill, or both. This film presents the most coherent depiction I've seen of how this happened, what it's "logic" was – and manages to do so engagingly, without becoming pedantic. That's a whole lot for one film to do, even for someone who respects and loves film as our culture's greatest current art form.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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