From the doyennes of the talking head tight-shot, American Experience, comes the theatrical release of a made-for-television documentary inspired by an Oscar-winning documentary. Phew! Shouldn’t this have gone straight from PBS to the supplementary disc of a 50th anniversary blu-ray? Frankly, no. Filmmakers Barak Goodman and Jamila Ephron are less concerned with revisiting musical acts than they are with chronicling the effort that went into staging an intimate assemblage of almost half a million peaceniks. As the film gets narrated by organizers, attendees, promoters, locals, and the occasional musician, it gradually becomes obvious that not one chronicler is going to appear on screen, not even during the closing credits. Instead, the testimonials play out underneath rare footage of the festival; the only talking heads in sight are filmed on Max Yasgur’s farm. A prior viewing of Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 landmark is compulsory, unless the brown acid has already kicked in, in which case there’s a freakout tent located next to the concession stand. (2019) — Scott Marks
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