Phil Ochs Doc Film To Premiere


Arriving in January…


By Blurt Staff


There But For Fortune
is a new
film from First Run Features by filmmaker Kenneth Bowser (Easy Riders, Raging Bulls & Live From New York, SNL in the 70s)
about one of the most iconic folk music heroes and political agitators in
American history. The documentary is to have its official theatrical
premiere in NYC at the IFC
Center on Jan. 5, with a
national rollout to follow. A handful of advance screenings will also take
place in December.


Phil Ochs rose to fame in the early 1960’s
during the height of the folk and protest song movement. His music, with lyrics
ripped straight from daily headlines, spoke to those who hoped and fought for
change.  From protesting the Vietnam War to supporting striking miners, to
his attacks on sitting Presidents and mocking the politically disinterested,
Ochs pierced the heart of the political establishment with fierce musical
satire and righteous analysis.


But by 1968, the mood of the country had
changed. With the death of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, and the
events of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, all that seemed possible just a few
years earlier began to fade.  Phil took this hopelessness to heart as if
the failings of the movement were his own.  His mental and physical health
declined as he sank deep into depression and alcoholism.  He took his own
life in 1976 at the age of 35.


In the film, Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete
Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens, Ed Sanders, and others
who knew or were inspired by Ochs tell stories of political passions that were
equal parts idealism, conviction and fantasy mixed together with a big ego and
often wild disorganization.


Today, the music of Ochs lives on,
influencing and inspiring songwriters around the world. Artists such as Pearl
Jam, Joan Baez, Ani DiFranco, Billy Bragg, and They Might Be Giants have
covered his songs, the best-known of which include “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,”
“Changes,” “Crucifixion,” “Draft Dodger Rag,” “Love Me, I’m a Liberal,”
“Outside of a Small Circle of Friends,” “Power and the Glory,” “There But for
Fortune,” and “The War Is Over.”



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