Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation shown on Tinker Street screen

(Elliot Landy/The Image Works/Tribeca Film Festival)

The film Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation is being screened at Upstate Films in Woodstock on Friday, May 31 at 8 p.m. If you were there (and you remember), this will take you back to those psychedelic-though-muddy days of peace and love. If you weren’t there, the nostalgic documentary – directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman, produced by Jamila Ephron and written by Goodman and Don Kleszy – promises 96 minutes of “that teeming mass of humanity, the rain-soaked, starving, tripping, half a-million-strong throng of young people [that] was nothing less than a miracle of unity.” 

This is a flashback piece with both sides featured: the self-defined hippies, happy to be celebrating the inchoate fruits of their cultural war, and the dreaded Establishment trying to respond sanely to an out-of-control situation that could surely go bad. Trying, too, to comprehend what the hell was going down when it didn’t. Who were these kids? Was this the end of civilization as it was then known, or the dawning of the new Age of Aquarius? The music, the weather, the mess, the glory and a few of the mishaps are highlighted in this PBS American Experience documentary.

Producer Jamila Ephron and photographer Elliott Landy, whose work has been exhibited and published worldwide since 1967, will be there for a question-and-answer session. The film will run through Thursday, June 6. Tickets for Friday’s special presentation with discussion cost $12 general admission, $10 for seniors and students and $8 for Upstate Films members.

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Woodstock: 3 Days that Defined a Generation, Friday, May 31, 8 p.m., $12/$10/$9, Upstate Films, 132 Tinker St., Woodstock; (845) 679-6608, https://upstatefilms.org/woodstock-3-days-that-defined-a-generation.

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