American Experience: Season 19, Episode 12

Summer of Love (23 Apr. 2007)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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Title: Summer of Love (23 Apr 2007)

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Episode credited cast:
Martine Algier ...
Edward Beggs ...
Ron Davis ...
Debbie Dunlap ...
Walter Garry ...
Todd Gitlin ...
Michael Horowitz ...
Jeff Lustig ...
Stan McDaniel ...
Eugene Schoenfeld ...
Calvin Welch ...


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23 April 2007 (USA)  »

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How much you enjoy this will clearly depend on your age and political bent.
16 February 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode of "The American Experience" is about the counter-culture Mecca that Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco was in the 1960s. Beginning as a bohemian hangout for hipsters, it slowly evolved to the center of hippie culture. For some who lived through this time and were a part of this counter-culture, I am sure that the show would be very appreciated. You can appreciate the nostalgia of the times and remember how wild things were. If you are one of the older generation of squares or were too young, your reaction might be quite a bit different--from disdain to indifference. As for me, I couldn't get too interested because this idealistic group of folks eventually learned about human nature and the realities of life--and the movement was simply doomed. I see it as an aberration--an idealistic time before Altamont.

The style of this film is a lot like the usual from this series--lots of video clips, interviews and narration by the always erudite David Ogden Stiers---who seemed like an interesting choice considering his patrician persona. Instead, Peter Coyote (who appeared in this show but did not narrate--though he's a very prolific narrator) would have seemed like a more natural choice as he was heavily involved in this place and time. I wonder what Stiers was doing back in 1967-69?! My only complaint is that a few times the film showed famous folks from the time but did not identify them--assuming the viewer would recognize a young Jerry Garcia and the like.

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