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CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008)

7.1
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The war in Iraq is the backdrop as the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young "Freedom of Speech Tour" crisscrosses North America. Echoes of Vietnam-era anti-war sentiment abound as the band connects with today's audiences.

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Title: CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008)

CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Josh Hisle ...
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Michael Lemke ...
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Karen Meredith ...
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Storyline

The war in Iraq is the backdrop as the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young "Freedom of Speech Tour" crisscrosses North America. Echoes of Vietnam-era anti-war sentiment abound as the band connects with today's audiences.

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Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief war images | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 July 2008 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

CSNY/Déjà Vu  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,910 (USA) (25 July 2008)

Gross:

$64,991 (USA) (24 October 2008)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 2 August 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Helplessly Hoping
Written by Stephen Stills
Published by Gold Hill Music, Inc. (BMI), administered by Sony/ATV Songs LLC
Performed by Crosby Stills Nash & Young (as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
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Filming with war
3 September 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This movie could almost be the movie accompaniment to Neil Young's then new album, the strongly anti-Iraq war "Living With War". To take his message out to the people, he corralled the musical support of his sometime band-mates Crosby Stills and Nash and the documentary-making support of veteran war reporter Mike Cierre. Although the majority of the documentary interviewees are in the CSNY anti-war camp, a fair representation is given to the pro-war supporters opposite point of view.

That in fact is one of the key things I got from the film, just how polarised the debate is Stateside, with almost no-one in the middle ground. When the two factions clash as at a gig in Southern Alabama, sparks fly as pro-war members of the audience, who have paid good money for their tickets, walk-out en-masse when Neil provocatively cranks out his new song "Let's Impeach The President" complete with sympathetic supporting big-screen video technology conveniently spelling out the controversial lyric.

The move follows the group around the country, interviewing band members particularly about the group's history of speaking out against war and for peace down the years. With a set-list concentrating on their "message" songs (often, as in "Ohio", "Find The Cost Of Freedom" and "For What It's Worth"), the music segments are strong although there are probably too many "Living With War" tracks causing some overkill on the message.

The vox-pop interviews with Vietnam veterans, the wives and mothers of deceased combatants and recently-served Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers are interesting and as I said earlier, kept reasonably balanced and fair. There's also a plug for Young's "Living With War" web-site, part of which highlights new music on the anti-war theme and through which he showcases a young American musician now writing and performing after serving a tour of duty in Iraq.

The four famous band members all very much show their ages, Stills apparently joining Crosby's walrus colony, while Nash and Young are slimmer but their faces are definitely marked by the lines of age. The once pristine harmonies are also more ragged but somehow that fits with the message they're putting across here. As artists I admire them for eschewing a "greatest hits nostalgia" package for this thought-provoking politically slanted show although in so doing they really become Young, Crosby Stills and Nash.

This movie, directed by Young, at times uneasily tries to marry the main anti-war message with the conventions of a rock concert movie, but it was always going to be an awkward fit and I commend Young and his fellow musicians for at least sticking their heads above the parapet like this.


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