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Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007)

Joan Baez , Ronnie Gilbert , Jim Brown  |  PG-13 |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Pete Seeger: The Power of Song + Essential Pete Seeger + We Shall Overcome: Complete Carnegie Hall Concert
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Baez, Ronnie Gilbert, Tom Paxton, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Smothers
  • Directors: Jim Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Genius Products (Ingram)
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018PH3OC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,361 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, Director Jim Brown documents the life of one of the greatest American singer/songwriters of the last century. 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 and criticized for his strong beliefs he was picketed, protested, blacklisted, and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from commercial television for more than 17 years. Musicians including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Brice Springsteen, Natalie Maines, and Peter, Paul and Mary appear in this intimate portrait and discuss Seeger s lasting influence on the fabric of American music.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible... October 21, 2007
Format:Theatrical Release
This is an incredible, must-see movie that rekindled my love for the music of pete seeger and painted a beautiful portrait of his amazing life and legacy. This movie is about an individual artist, but even more a living example of the power of music generally to evoke change. We need people like Pete Seeger more than ever.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Inspiring February 16, 2008
Format:Theatrical Release
The life of Pete Seeger, as folk musician, McCarthy-era blacklisted performer, Clearwater initiatiator (cleaning up the Hudson River "when they said it couldn't be done"), and patriot ... Left me feeling inspired and joyful, and thinking that all the world needs is a little citizenship, focus, and a passion for fun. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, his integrity shines brightly.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom, Justice, and Independence June 1, 2008
If you ask anyone to make a list of five American Ideals, most likely Freedom, Justice, and Independence will be there.
It seems the fight to preserve those Ideals and make sure American Ideals can apply to all Americans has always been a struggle.
Watching Pete Seeger/The Power of Song, I learned what a difference we can make when we band together, walk together, and sing together.
We all want our freedom, we all want our independence, and we desire justice.
The ironic thing is, sometimes we have to band together with our neighbors (whom we may not even know) to collectively voice our concerns and causes to preserve our liberties, freedoms, and independence.
Pete Seeger has helped people sing together all of his life. When he helped people sing for Unions, he helped the struggle for personal economic independence through better wages and benefits for workers.
When Pete Seeger helped people sing together during the Civil Rights Movement, he helped in the struggle against racial discrimination, and the struggle to gain personal freedom, justice, and independence for all Americans.
When Pete Seeger helped people sing together and band together for the common good, the Hudson River was made clean again.
Pete Seeger was blacklisted from commercial television for 17 years. In those 17 years, our own freedoms and justice were comprimised. Thank you, Tom and Dick Smothers, for helping to set things right.
There are some great clips of Seeger being honored at the Kennedy Center for his Lifetime Achiement Award, in 1994.

This is an excellent program. We may appreciate, not underestimate, the power of song.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American for All Times February 28, 2008
Format:Theatrical Release
Ever since watching this wonderfully produced and powerful program about Pete Seeger, I have been reflecting on the many ways he gently enriched my appreciation for the world, for our environment and, perhaps most important, our neighbors. I remembered the time in the early 80s when I gave him a ride to a concert and found him to be the most real person I had ever met. His humbleness and consideration for others has helped to make him a legend. I highly recommend this program to everyone who desires to become reconnected as an authentic American.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important and inspiring historical document January 24, 2008
Format:Theatrical Release
I saw this film in a theatre with my sixteen year old daughter, who wrote her high school thesis on the role of folk music in the Civil Rights struggle. I knew she would get a lot out of it, but I was also pleasantly surprised how much the film tied together various strands of history and music of which I was aware previously. It definitely deepened my understanding of that important era of American history, which happened to be when I was growing up.

The music is mostly great stuff. The film is quite moving and inspiring. As usual with leftists, the film's relatively obvious drawback is the degree to which some of the principals are overly earnest and serious - a little more humor would help. (A small complaint in light of the very strong contribution made by Pete Seeger and his friends and family toward social justice and a more fair and inclusive American culture.)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic May 31, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Marvelous documentary about Pete that aired on PBS not so long ago and now is available on DVD for anyone who didn't obtain a copy as a Public Television "donation premium." One part I liked best is when Pete says what he didn't like much about the film is that it didn't show "all the stupid things I've done," or words to that effect. Pete Seeger is an American treasure, one everybody (on the left and even over on the right) can rightly cherish. May he be with us forever.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle, good man February 28, 2008
Format:Theatrical Release
I "grew up" with Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, and others. "Blowin' in the Wind" is one of my all-time favorite songs. I loved the film and thought it did Pete justice, showing his humanity and grace. I just wish his music would take fire again, as it did 40+ years ago. There still is inequality among the races - and among the classes; labor unions seem to have less power to create a more level "playing field" for workers. And we are once again trapped in a war we had no business starting in the first place. If nothing else, we need Pete's optimisim.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Inspiration! July 25, 2010
The glorious documentary "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" provides us with a beautiful and inspiring portrait of a man whose life and music helped to define an era. Seeger has always been an artist who viewed music not merely as a form of entertainment but as a vehicle for social change and as a means of bringing people together. And it is this legacy that is captured so movingly in "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song."

The movie chronicles Seeger's beginnings as the son of musicians who would travel around the countryside bringing classical music to the rural masses. The movie then goes on to depict Seeger's introduction to folk music by the very people his parents would play for; his becoming an activist for worker and civil rights during the Great Depression; his riding the rails with Woody Guthrie, inspiring people with pro-labor ballads. It then moves on to his time as a soldier during World War II (no reflexive anti-military guy he); his marriage in 1943 to Toshi, a fellow folk singer and the true love of his life; his building his own house in the woods for him and his family to live in; his acceptance, then eventual rejection of Communism as a workable ideology (ironic, considering what was to happen to him soon afterwards). Then we move onto the late 1940s when Seeger hit it big as a member of The Weavers, the first group to truly bring folk music to a mass audience. And we get to see just how quickly one can tumble from the pinnacle of fame, for the band soon fell victim to McCarthy Era hysteria, being suddenly blacklisted - its concerts cancelled and its records destroyed - for what were perceived to be its communist leanings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pete is one of the greatest humanitarians of our time
Pete is one of the greatest humanitarians of our time; a wonderful person. This DVD is great, but represents just a small window of his life's achievements.
Published 4 days ago by Piper and Flute music maker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great video.
Published 6 days ago by Joy Falls
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Song and the man behind that power
In my younger years I loved Pete Seeger for his songs, his music, his voice. But this documentary reveals his passion for human rights which probably isn't well known to younger... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Sophia Kugeares
5.0 out of 5 stars Together at last
I have always wanted to see Pete and Joan together, and here they are.
As a bonus there are also Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, and Peter, Paul and Mary - amongst others.
Published 1 month ago by Raymond Groenestein
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and Inspiring
Watch this DVD to know what one dedicated musician can achieve; and watch it to see that in fact the United States has made progress even if it is always two steps forward and one... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars I had no idea
I had no idea all the activities that Pete Seeger was involved in or how badly he was treated during the McCarthy Era (when our country was so paranoid about communism that they... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steven Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars FOR THE LOVE OF PETE
A very special documentary about a very special man. For fans and admirers of the wonderful Pete and the history of political folk music, this is a must. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anthony McGill
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just the music
Meet a man that stood by his beliefs for his entire life. Meet a government scared to death of the man that stands so tall and proud.
Published 3 months ago by E. Raasch
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!
Every one, child and adult, should know Pete Seeger. This American Icon devoted his life to enriching the lives of all of us through his incredible music. Read more
Published 3 months ago by heidi larson
5.0 out of 5 stars Pete Seeger is the Power of Love
Pete Seeger was a truly great American. This documentary provides a look into the seamlessness of his goodness and integrity with his family, friends, indeed, the whole world. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Donna healey
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