Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation

(USA, 2013, 92 mins)
Director:
CAST Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Carly Simon, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton, Michelle Philips, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Chapin Sisters, Israel Horovitz, Peter Yarrow, John Sebastian, Jose Feliciano, tom Chapin

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Featuring poignant interviews with a who’s who of 60s folk luminaries, and searing performances by Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, among many others, Laura Archibald’s doc illuminates one of those rare creative nexus points that defined an era. Between 1961 and 1973, musicians from all over North America (and further afield) converged on Greenwich Village to sing about the radical social upheaval of the time. As these new singer-songwriters emerged, the Village blossomed as a place that promoted a better future. Their music challenged the status quo, advocating for civil liberties, protesting the Vietnam War, and holding governments accountable for their actions.

On Sunday April 9, 1961, over 500 young musicians gathered in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square to sing folk songs to promote peace and harmony. This act of passive protest resulted in riot squads attacking singers and civilians alike with billy clubs, leading to several arrests. The incident became known around the world as the Washington Square Folk Riot and was cited as the first ’freedom of speech’ revolt. It also made Greenwich Village a beacon of hope for an entire generation. And this is just one of the important stories which make up the vibrant history of The Village music scene. Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation is the amazing untold story about the very people whose music helped change the world.

"Evokes the flavor of the era just before the music business exploded into a mass-market juggernaut. The film’s pleasures are the same ones offered by a sprawling, lavishly illustrated magazine spread." Stephen Holden, New York Times

"Makes you wish you’d been there too, hearing it all for the first time." Jay Stone, Canada.com

"Irresistible…I t’s always irritating to hear New Yorkers refer to themselves as the centre of the universe. Except in this case they might be right." Susan Cole, Now magazine