Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.


  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $39.95
  • Date: Copyright 1990. Released 1991.
  • Descriptors: United States - History - 20th century. Popular culture.
  • Production Information: Live action, Archival footage. Color. 60 min.
  • Production Company: Northern Arts Entetainment
  • Available from: PBS Video 1320 Braddock Pl. Alexandria, VA 22314-1698 (703)739-5380
  • Cataloging: 973.923 United States - History - 1961-1969
  • Print Entry #: 2:1388
  • Reviewer: DJ Palladino

    You know that old, bad joke that goes "If you can remember the sixties, then you weren't there." It's a dumb joke, of course, because the drugs favored by that generation were at least supposed to be consciousness expanding. However, the possible grain of truth reflected in the one-liner is that those halcyon days seem so shrouded in almost mystic, emotional memories that it is indeed difficult for many people to recall much more than a snapshot montage of the era.

    Hence, this video is important because it both affirms and denies the fuzziness with a simple gimmick: film footage of 1960s news events and happenings set against a backdrop of the popular music of the period. The Watts riots become a metaphorical music video for B. B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone." Scenes from the Haight-Ashbury counter-culture days are enlivened by the sounds of The Incredible String Band - there's even a concert-performance clip of Jimi Hendrix doing "Wild Thing" at the Monterey Pop Festival - a showstopping moment of group liberation. The political solution at Kent state, viewed to the strains of "Four Dead in Ohio," should bring back some painfully undulled emotions to anyone who lived through that era.

    Many viewers other than nostalgia-hunters should find the tape rewarding however. This video, shown at both the beginning and end of a history class on the period, would provide a catalyst for conversation and sensory evidence as to why its veterans still remember that time with ambivalent reverence: many of the important highs and lows are here for the viewing. Recommended for all libraries.

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