The music isn't exactly my bag, but there's no denying the historical interest of this low budget film about a low budget festival that took place in 1969 at the Esalen Institute, one of the premier psychobabble headquarters of the day. If you enjoy footage of folks flying their freak flag high, this is for you. Fans of folk music will be in heaven, but others will find the sounds pretty thin gruel--and sometimes, especially in the case of Joni Mitchell's caterwauling, the musical equivalent of a high colonic. Neil Young looks and sounds cool, especially on an organ-heavy number early in the film, and the Edwin Hawkins Singers are excellent. The film has a grittiness that sets it apart from Woodstock, and the small nature of the crowd--and the fact that the 'stage' is one side of a swimming pool--make this a valuable record of what seems to have been a genuine communal experience.
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