This documentary film, recently broadcast on PBS's "American Masters" series, is a brilliant example of how filmmakers, in this case Jim Brown who made the classic "Wasn't That a Time" about the Weavers folk group, can shed light on history and people overlooked by the mainstream. I had known of Holly Near over the decades only in passing but this movie cements her central place in recent American history as both musical artist and activist.
After a single viewing I'm convinced she is a major player in crucial movements such as the Peace Movement, Women's Rights, LGBT and even indie music. Last category showed her trailblazing record company Redwood Records that serves as a model for self-distribution.
With luminaries like Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda interviewed to properly place Near's role in so much progressive work, it is ultimately Holly's winning personality, great empathy and terrific musical ability that comes through loud and clear here.
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