From civil rights to the anti-war movement to the struggles of workers, folksinger Phil Ochs wrote topical songs that engaged his audiences in the issues of the 1960s and 70s. In this ... See full summary »
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From civil rights to the anti-war movement to the struggles of workers, folksinger Phil Ochs wrote topical songs that engaged his audiences in the issues of the 1960s and 70s. In this biographical documentary, veteran director Kenneth Bowser shows how Phil's music and his fascinating life story and eventual decline into depression and suicide were intertwined with the history-making events that defined a generation. Even as his contemporaries moved into folk-rock and pop music, Phil followed his own vision, challenging himself and his listeners. Not one to pull punches, Ochs never achieved the commercial success he desperately desired. But his music remains relevant, reaching new audiences in a generation that finds his themes all too familiar. Written by
Some fascinating archival footage of the late, great Phil Ochs is presented here and it is just stunning. As part of the folksinger movement in the 60's, his only rival was Dylan, though Ochs was far more political. It is a bit myopic in that it mostly focuses on that. That is fine, but I would have liked to see commentary from fellow singers Eric Andersen and Tom Paxton, both of whom either recorded Phil's songs or wrote a song for him (Paxton's "Phil" is amazing). Not having them is a minor thing, though, and you do hear from his brother and sister, his ex-wife and daughter, as well as other people he knew (nearly all are listed as "friend" first in their description). If you do not know Phil's music, buy any compilation Elektra and A & M put out, as well as "In Concert" and "Pleasures Of The Harbour". I'm happy to see a documentary on Phil finally being done. Not perfect, but more than recommended.
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