Docs That Rock

Really Back in the USSR

In August 1962, young filmmaker Leslie Woodhead captured two minutes of a young Liverpool band playing in The Cavern Club. Now, after decades of filming documentaries, he’s returned to examine the impact that this footage and the band called The Beatles had in the USSR. Officially, the Beatles were a big nyet for Soviet citizens, denounced by the Communist Party as “capitalist pollution.” But culture seeps and there were all sorts of underground Beatlemaniacs with bootleg tapes on old x-ray film and guitars carved from old kitchen tables that helped the band’s influence spread. And in this doc premiering tonight on PBS (check local listings), Woodhead argues that the music and spirit of The Beatles played a key role in giving a window of freedom eastward and helping to wipe away totalitarianism. Overstated? Check out the doc tonight. (Moment of regret: We tried to do a similar film about the fall of the Berlin Wall, where rock’s general influence seemed equally meaningful, but couldn’t find the funding…)

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November 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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