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Pete Seeger: The Power of Song


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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.

Special Features

None.

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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018PH3OC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,723 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
95%
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See all 87 customer reviews
Now, it's a name I will never forget.
Juan C. Lozano Adame
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.
Roland E. Zwick
In my younger years I loved Pete Seeger for his songs, his music, his voice.
Sophia Kugeares

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Wild Rose on 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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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Pam McDonald on 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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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By tjcrewsbooks on June 1, 2008
Format: DVD
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 By David Henderson on 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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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Gill on 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 By Roland E. Zwick on July 25, 2010
Format: DVD
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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Power of Song - DVD availability
It is available for order from PBS's Shop Thirteen website:
http://www.shopthirteen.org/product/show/31668
Mar 3, 2008 by James Capaldi |  See all 4 posts
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