Woodstock: Now & Then: Barbara Kopple's Woodstock Documentary
Barbara Kopple's documentary, Woodstock Now and Then, will air on VH1 in the US on Friday, August 14, and August 17 on the History Channel. The documentary makes use of pre-existing (and already-used) footage, but focuses on the behind-the-scenes elements, beyond the musical highlights and the peace-and-love imagery that defined Woodstock for those who weren't there.
Barbara Kopple found actual attendees to get their stories: some of the concertgoers never even saw any of the bands. The event itself was a disorganizeed mess, with masses of people tearing down the fence, and the promoters taking a tremendous financial loss on the whole affair, which was described by then-reporter Barnard Collier as "a beautiful accident".
Actually, A Beautiful Accident woudl be a great name for a Woodstock doco.
She focuses on the logistics of food and medical care, and the role of the Hog Farm commune in providing both; Wavy Gravy and his wife, Jahanara Romney, provide first-hand accounts. Ms. Kopple also delves into the financial morass the festival left in its wake: about 80 lawsuits and a million-dollar deficit that the young producers settled by selling their interest in the film, a concession that was eventually worth many millions.
As we get closer to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, other media orginazations are bringing out their archives, even the Ottowa Citizen. Hey, Ontario borders upstate New York.