Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
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.
I wasn't all that interested in this, I guess on the more cult of personality side of documentaries you really need to be entranced by the subject and I just wasn't. However it also does a cross of the era that is very interesting on it's own.
An exhaustive, interesting portrait of the tragic folk singer. The most interesting material bookends things, but appearances by Christopher Hitchens, Jello Biafra, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Billy Bragg perk things up when it threatens to run off the track. Great music, too, and a wonderful starting place for those interested in Ochs or his music.