Friday, February 04, 2011

Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune

This is an entertaining and important documentary about Phil Ochs. Mr. Ochs was a political folk singer popular in the 60's who's most famous songs were "I Ain't Marching Anymore" and "Small Circle Of Friends".

His circle of friends included Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and Peter Yarrow. He was the most "political" of his contemporaries and never really had a "hit" record. "Pleasures From The Harbor" was probably his most commercial album and yet his music was the voice of a generation. This new documentary gives Mr. Ochs his due and at the same time capsulizes the turbulent 60's.

The film is full of songs and images as well as contemporary interviews with Mr. Ochs's family, friends and acquaintances. It provides insight into Mr. Ochs who, while they were friends, always felt overshadowed by Bob Dylan. It explores the inner demons that drove him to drink, his terrible bout with depression, but also celebrates the man's life and music.

The documentary is in limited release in NY but will open in other major cities throughout February and March. If you believe in the power of music as a tool for change and want to learn more about an unlikely American hero, this is a must see.

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