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Berkeley in the 60s (1990)

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M546GC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,231 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a superb, valuable documentary.

Berkeley was at the epicenter as the counterculture politics of the '60s emerged. And revisiting the political ferment of '60s Berkeley can offer an unusually helpful overview of these interwoven political currents. This film does that very, very well. It rises far,far above films which simply recount the intense experimentation with sex, drugs & rock 'n' roll that eventually characterized the counterculture. This film focuses on the often-less-understood, and fascinating, politics of the time.

The fascinating footage (including early glimpses at Reagan as a
relatively new "pol"), the deft editing, the years-later retrospective reflections of "now-grown-up" participants in the Berkeley "FSM" (Free Speech Movement) -- these are all very engaging, and beautifully assembled. But what makes the film great for me is its clarity in reflecting the interplay of counterculture themes: the movements for free speech and for civil rights, the movement against the Vietnam War, and assertion of the new feminism. Along with the energetic pursuit of "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," these elements - blended into one 'tsunami' of a movement -- were experienced by us all coming of age during that time, throughout the US and throughout much of the world. But as a young person during that era, who became very swept up in the self-proclaimed "dawning of the Age of Aquarius," I recall also feeling unclear on how these ideological components -- which otherwise seemed to me distinct and substantively unrelated - became intertwined in the social politics of that era.

Whether the film is slanted, and whether "The Movement" was positive or negative, seem to me besides the point. The Movement was; like it or not, that reality is indisputable.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look into Berkeley in the '60s April 16, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
As a student of American History, this is certainly one of the most interesting films I've had the opportunity to view. From the footage of Mario Savio's arrest at the Regents' forum to the interviews with former Black Panther leaders and also Vietnam draftees, there is a lot of raw human emotion and reaction captured on tape. Truly an excellent documentary that seeks to be more than a documentary-- and succeeds in becoming a true reflection of life.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice March 18, 2004
I would like to tell you a little bit about the documentary by Mark Kitchell entitled Berkeley in the Sixties. This film is a great synopsis of the 60s civil rights and counter culture movements based out of UC Berkeley. The film was released in 1990 and contains interviews with everybody from members of the Black Panthers to Country Joe and the Fish. It starts at the beginning of the sixties with the events that would eventually lead to the first protest to the hippies and Peoples Park and so on, interviewing people even into the late 80s. The film kept my attention and was very educational.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raises documentary standards... May 31, 2008
This truly is an exceptionally well researched and presented documentary concerning the events at USC Berkeley in the 1960s.What comes across is that the collection of former students/activists interviewed are intelligent,erudite and committed to social causes:their social zeal did not die with the decade(as is revealed in the "where are they now" segment).However, the documentary is not a total celebration of their experiences;mistakes made and the success/impact of their actions is discussed,with a variety of conclusions being drawn.A small disappointment is the non-appearance of Mario Savio in the interviews:apparently he refused to participate and the documentary is poorer for this.The viewpoint of the "establishment"(university leaders,police,the conservative middle America)would have rounded the documentary out;but these are small quibbles.What remains is a superb piece of social history,with fantastic archival footage,both b/w and colour,accompanied by a soundtrack that complements the action nicely.I highly recommend this to anyone interested in the 1960s,social activism and the search for a better America.My review is dedicated to Michael Rossman,one of the FSM leaders who sadly passed away in May 2008:I applaud your efforts Michael.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those were the days. January 22, 2010
This documentary, focuses on the turbulence of the Berkeley student demonstrations, during the volatile 60s. There's plenty of interviews, with former Berkeley student radicals. Also included, is commentary from members of the Black Panthers, the Berkeley Mayor, local police, and concerned Bay area citizens. Berkeley, and the San Francisco Bay area in general, were the epicenter of political and social unrest, for young people in the 60s. The chaos of the student movement that began at Berkeley, spread to other campuses throughout the nation. Never before, had college students in America been so thoroughly dedicated to positive change, as they were during the 60s.

I lived in the Bay area, just two years ago. And it's undergone a 280-degree turn from its enlightened, progressive character, that was its signature zeitgeist in the 60s. It's become positively inhumane! It's been overtaken by affluent Yuppie WASPs, who have driven the price of housing to astronomical levels. As a result, homelessness is at epidemic levels there. So is unemployment. Even the most highly educated people, have to beg for low-wage jobs there. Racism, and even gay-bashing, now plague the once warm and tolerant Bay area too. High tech geeks are the new gods of the Bay area, and everyone else there is regarded as useless. Bohemians of all stripes, are no longer welcome there. They can't afford to live there anymore, anyhow.

This film is very informative, about how Berkeley students fought valiant battles for social justice in the 60s. It's a real shame, that the Bay area has become a haven for the Capitalist pigs, that the Berkeley students railed against over 40 years ago.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous film BUT not playable on New Zealand DVD players
Being born in Berkeley, though I now live down under, biases me just slightly.
Having been a sixties activist has, of course, nothing to do with my opinion - I thought the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pat Bolster
5.0 out of 5 stars an electrifying time capsule
It brought back so many intense memories from late childhood and made clear details that, as a 13 year old, were lost to me at the time.
Published 10 months ago by Timothy Goldsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
What a fascinating portrayal of a very interesting and important times! This was a well done and thought provoking documentary.
Published 13 months ago by Lynn Beck
4.0 out of 5 stars Bracing documentary that captures a California university, and its...
Back in the 1960's, things were different: we all know that. We've seen enough film footage from that decade to know that it was a time of profound social tension, of strong... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Paul Haspel
5.0 out of 5 stars Berkeley in the Sixties
Amazing DVD. Great stuff. Took me back to the wonderful period when everything seemed so right. Worth your while, if you were born well after the period.
Published 23 months ago by Zaheer Alam Kidvai
3.0 out of 5 stars Made Me Feel Old
Somewhat interesting. I found myself concentrating on looking for faces I recognized, which is something of a distraction, but it is a historical review of a pivotal time at a... Read more
Published on May 12, 2012 by Barbara Frederick
4.0 out of 5 stars A Vivid History Lesson
Lots of incredible original, quality film from the 60s. It's amazing that the producers turned up so much. I'd recommend this disc to anyone to see it. Read more
Published on December 19, 2011 by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Berkeley protests
This documentary is a fabulous, historic account of protests in Berkeley, the reasons citizens revolted, how some protests kindled into large events that cut across racial... Read more
Published on April 21, 2010 by Pamela Holik
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good documentary chronicling the sixties student protest...
This documentary does a nice job of recounting some of the major events in the development of the student protest movements in Berkeley in the sixties. Read more
Published on January 10, 2010 by Robert Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars History can be fun
Er..... I bought this one mostly because I was there....But it's still a fascinating flick.
Published on November 11, 2009 by Deborah Black
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