The Woods Hole Film Festival and MVYRadio join forces Saturday, May 23, to present a virtual screening event of the heralded feature documentary “WBCN and The American Revolution,” followed by an online Q&A with the film’s director, Bill Lichtenstein, former ‘BCN personalities, musician James Montgomery, and other special guests.
Originally slated for inclusion in the Woods Hole Film Festival’s Dinner & A Movie film series, the film will now be presented as part of the festival’s shift to hosting virtual screening events necessitated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual screening events include an opportunity to view curated independent films and to participate in live Q&As with the filmmakers and other special guests.
“As we adapt to the reality of the new environment we’re in, the Woods Hole Film Festival is undertaking a major effort to shift the 2020 Festival to be a virtual event,” said Woods Hole festival director Judith Laster. Ms. Laster also said that the intention is that the 2020 Woods Hole Film Festival will have the look and feel of the eight day Woods Hole Film Festival, which has been presented for the past 28 years. The 29th Woods Hole Film Festival, July 25 to August 1, “will consist of the same type of screenings and events we offer as a live event festival and reflect the community-based feel of the Festival.”
“WBCN and The American Revolution” is a landmark, feature-length documentary that tells the previously untold story of the early days of radical, underground radio station WBCN set against the dazzling and profound social, political, and cultural changes that took place in Boston and nationally during the late 1960s and early ‘70s. It’s the true story of how a radio station, politics and rock ‘n’ roll changed everything.
The film shows how Boston, which was overshadowed in 1967 by the exploding psychedelic scenes in both San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and New York City’s East Village, emerged as the central crossroad of the counterculture and political activism.The story is told through the history of WBCN, which in its early days called itself “The American Revolution,” and the personal and political journeys of a compelling cast of characters who connect and intersect through the radio station and exploding music scenes, militant antiwar activism, civil rights struggles, and the emerging women’s and LGBTQ liberation movements.
The film includes first-person accounts from the radio station’s staff along with newly filmed and archival material that features the leading political, social, cultural and musical figures of the day who crossed paths with the radio station, including: Noam Chomsky, Abbie Hoffman, Jane Fonda, Jerry Garcia and Duane Allman, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen in his first radio interview, and Patti Smith, performing in her first live radio broadcast. The documentary also includes never-before exhibited film material shot by Andy Warhol and cinema vérité pioneer Ricky Leacock and images from leading photojournalists of the day, including the late Peter Simon, brother of Carly Simon, who is interviewed in the film.
The stories in “WBCN and The American Revolution” are interwoven with the original sights and sounds of the critical events of the era through the more than 100,000 audio and visual items shared by the public for the film in an unprecedented archives search. The film tells a story that is timely and relevant, especially to young people, who are seeking to use media to create social change.
Tickets are $14 per person and $12, for Woods Hole Film Festival members and are on sale in advance at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org. Proceeds from this screening event help to support the Woods Hole Film Festival and MVYRadio.