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81

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: Pete Seeger was the architect of the folk revival, writing some of its best known songs including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” "Turn, Turn, Turn” and "If I Had A Hammer." Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the US government, for his views on peace, unionism, civil rights and ecology, Seeger was targeted by the communist witch hunt of the Fifties. He was picketed, protested, blacklisted, and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from American television for more than 17 years. With a combination of never-before-seen archival footage and personal films made by Seeger and his wife, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song chronicles the life of this legendary artist and political activist. (Jim Brown Productions) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 100
    With access to remarkable archival footage, old TV shows, home movies and the family photo album, Brown weaves together the story of the Seegers with testimony by admirers who represent his influence and legacy.
  2. Between clips of the concerts Seeger staged as hootenanny hosannas, the film chronicles how the blacklisted star stuck true to his beliefs -- which were more patriotic than those of his accusers.
  3. Reviewed by: Joel Selvin
    100
    All the requisite talking heads pop up - Dylan, Springsteen, Baez - but it is Seeger himself who towers over the landscape. The filmmakers treat this aged curmudgeon almost too reverently, but it is hard not to be awed by this gentle, resolute soul because of the ideas he steadfastly and faithfully represented.
  4. Director Brown has made a career of chronicling the history of American folk music, and Pete Seeger: The Power of Song is a worthy companion piece to his 1982 debut, "The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time?"
  5. It's a tribute to both the subject and his biographer that this story of one man's experience is also a vital chronicle of the times in which he's lived.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    So there's a hole at the center of "Pete Seeger" that the movie fills with loving remembrances, testimonials, and new interview footage of the singer at his hand-built cabin in upstate New York.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    60
    Shallow, very officially sanctioned, and overly compressed, The Power of Song plays like a PBS infomercial for the inevitable DVD box set, which will surely include even more archival footage.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. MartyK.
    Sep 22, 2007
    10
    A rich and captivating look at a national treasure. The parallels between HUAC & Vietnam protest to today's government are stunning.
  2. GregF.
    Oct 30, 2007
    10
    A broad and inspiring story of a powerful, immensely influential and purely American Voice.
  3. Joan
    Nov 2, 2007
    10
    A wonderful film about a truly great American patriot with a strong commitment to a high standard of ethics that all of us should have. Well done, well edited, and nostalgic. Not to be missed! Expand
  4. StuN
    Dec 1, 2007
    10
    An amazing tribute to a man who should stand as an inspiration to us all. It's unbelievable that this gentle (but not weak) and peaceful person was blackballed from performing in most places for 15+ years. The historical footage is inspiring as it tells the story of someone who spent his life being true to his belief in the power of good deeds and good people, and reinforced those values by making his music move others to action. He is a hero who would be far better known were it not for his disinterest in business and money, except in support of his causes. The songs he wrote or popularized are legendary including We Shall Overcome, If I had a Hammer, Knee Deep in the Big Muddy, Little Boxes and many more. Worth seeing by everyone in your family and all your friends. Expand
  5. muriely.
    Jan 23, 2008
    10
    His enthusiasm for the music and his steadfastness in living his beliefs make it almost impossible not to like and admire this man. It was hard for the audience not to burst into song along with him (and a few people did). They also burst into applause at the end of the movie, something which doesn't happen very often! Expand

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