Berkeley in the Sixties
Directed by Mark Kitchell • Documentary • With Ronald Reagan, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mario Savio, Huey Newton, Allen Ginsberg, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix • 1990 • 117 minutes
Berkeley in the Sixties recaptures the exhilaration and turmoil of the unprecedented student protests that shaped a generation and changed the course of America. Many consider it to be the best filmic treatment of the 1960s yet made.
This Academy Award-nominated documentary interweaves the memories of 15 former student leaders, who grapple with the meaning of their actions. Their recollections are interwoven with footage culled from thousands of historical clips and hundreds of interviews. Ronald Reagan, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mario Savio, Huey Newton, Allen Ginsberg, and the music of Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez and the Grateful Dead all bring that tumultuous decade back to life.
Its reflective and insightful analysis of the era - from the HUAC hearings and civil rights sit-ins at the beginning of the decade through the Free Speech Movement, the anti-war protests, the growth of the counter-culture, the founding of the Black Panther Party and the stirrings of the Women's Movement - confronts every viewer with the questions the 1960s raised, which remain largely unanswered.