Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Phil Ochs Documentary

Last night at the Mayfair Theatre there was a screening of the new documentary about Phil Ochs, There But For Fortune.  It was a fundraiser for the WHM, generously arranged by the Ottawa Folk Festival, RavenLaw, and the Ottawa Folklore Centre, and the place was pretty much full.

Phil Ochs, if you don't know, was an American singer-songwriter-activist in the 1960s and 70s.  He was one of the early and on-going voices against the Vietnam War and many of his songs - Draft Dodger's Rag, I Ain't Marching Anymore, to name two - reflect this.  His songs were earnest, irreverent, biting, and absurd.  He was far more politically active than, say, Dylan but perhaps as a result not exactly mainstream.  Still, he was incredibly active and influential. 

The film is a good mix footage from the period and contemporary interviews with family, friends, activists, and musicians and it covers the whole range, from Ochs' childhood up to his suicide in 1976.  The screening at the Mayfair was a one night affair but I'd encourage you to be on the look out for it.  Trailers can be seen at this website:

After the screening, most folks headed down to Patty's Pub for a sing-a-long led by Arthur McGregor.  As a bonus, Phil Ochs's sister Sonny was there and was able to shed more light on the fascinating and tragic figure of her brother.

Thanks for all who helped make this a great evening!

No comments:

Post a Comment