Film Festival Sensation Available for Streaming
THE BOSS: Bruce Springsteen is among those appearing in the documentary “WBCN and The American Revolution,” available digitally to help support the Princeton Garden Theatre and other independent community arts organization. (Photo by Barry Schneier)
The acclaimed documentary WBCN and The American Revolution is being presented by Renew Theaters, which owns the Princeton Garden on Nassau Street, along with movie houses in Ambler, Pa.; Doylestown, Pa.; and Jenkintown, Pa.
The feature-length documentary follows a cast of characters as their lives connect and intersect during the rise of the legendary radio station that became both a player in and a platform for the explosive rock ’n roll counterculture, passionate anti-war movement, and burgeoning civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights movements.
Proceeds will be shared with the Renew Theaters as part of a nationwide campaign to support community radio, independent theaters, and media arts organizations during the pandemic and create a public dialogue on how media can create social change.
“A year ago, WBCN and The American Revolution launched an exhilarating tour of film festivals and screenings across the United States, many of which benefited community radio stations. Audiences were uplifted and empowered by the story of how a rock radio station and a passionate community of listeners mobilized to change their world for the better,” said Bill Lichtenstein, the filmmaker. “Now, in this unprecedented time, as we are all facing shared danger but can no longer gather together, the spirit of community is more important than ever. I’m thrilled that we’re able to share the inspiring message of the film in this way.”
“Additionally,” added Lichtenstein, “as the economic effects of the COVID-19 shutdown have affected so many of our most valued businesses and cultural institutions, I’m pleased that tickets sales will support each of the Renew Theaters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”
The film weaves stories with the original sights and sounds of the critical events of the late 1960s and early 1970s, thanks to more than 100,000 audio and visual items, many of which were donated to the project by members of the WBCN community and the station’s many listeners and fans. The material includes never-before-exhibited film shot by Andy Warhol and cinema vérité pioneer Ricky Leacock, images from notable photographers including the late Peter Simon
(brother of singer Carly Simon) and Jeff Albertson, as well as aircheck audio from on-air, in-studio moments.
The film includes fresh first-person accounts from the station’s staff, as well as both newly filmed and archival material featuring leading political, social, cultural, and musical figures of the day including Noam Chomsky, Jane Fonda, David Bowie, Jerry Garcia, Abbie Hoffman, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen — in his first radio interview — and Patti Smith, performing with her band in her first live radio broadcast.
The film is available to stream online for $10 a ticket. Visit https://medium.com/renew-theaters.