Part of the American Masters series, this one taking a look at the life and career of Woody Guthrie. Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, various friends, Woody's children and ex-wife are among the people telling his story and what a story it really is. Being a major fan of Bob Dylan, I had always heard Guthrie stories from him but I never really dug too deeply to learn more about the man and after watching this wonderful documentary I'm really kicking myself for that. The documentary starts off at Woody's childhood where he saw his mother go crazy and end up in an asylum. He would eventually end up in an orphanage before heading out on his own to try and make his way through the world, which was going through a Depression. He eventually got interested in a guitar and soon started writing songs about all the pain he was seeing around him. The documentary goes into great detail about Woody's family life as well as what he was going through musically. There were three sides of his music and all three are looked at including his brief period of writing children songs for a daughter who would eventually get killed in a freak accident. Being able to hear stories from his children and wife was the most fascinating thing here because not too many documentaries of people who has passed away decades before can offer this. One of the talking heads says that Guthrie's life was that of something Shakespeare would have written and I'd certainly agree considering how sad his final decade would be as his mind slowly started to go away. The film features countless audio recordings from Guthrie himself as well as many, many songs. The story about him recording one-hundred and fifty songs in two days was amazing all by itself.
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