FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune

Powerful rock doc about America's seminal protest rocker
By GERALD PEARY  |  March 10, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Ken Bowser's film biography of a seminal American protest singer of the '60s and '70s is conventionally told but also informative and moving. Ochs was a normal college kid at Ohio State University who discovered guitar and, soon after, folk music, and he never went back, dropping out for Greenwich Village. There he wrote angry ballads against Jim Crow and the Vietnam War and had a rivalry with fellow Midwesterner Bob Dylan. He worshipped Dylan; Dylan, however, was scornful of Ochs's protest music. The documentary does the usual weave of call-to-arms songs (including Ochs's flagship anti-war classic, "I Ain't Marching Any More") and newsreel footage, but it's most powerful in its sad last act. Ochs, who wanted to be America's premier songsmith, instead stumbles about in depression and alcoholism - and yet, in a moment of light, he travels to Chile to sing to miners when, miraculously, Salvador Allende takes power.

  Topics: Reviews , Phil Ochs, review, movie,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GERALD PEARY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY