Doors at 8 pm; Film at 8:30 pm
Ashkenaz provides the free movie, and popcorn will be available to purchase for proper movie night ambience, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and share in watching one of the great documentary films about that season: the American Experience film “Summer of Love.” Made for San Francisco’s KQED-TV, “Summer of Love” was written, produced and directed by the late, award-winning Berkeley documentarist Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco
First aired in 2007 to mark the 40th anniversary, “Summer of Love” is narrated by acclaimed actor David Ogden Stiers, and explores the beginnings of the “hippie invasion” of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in the summer of 1967.
We hear from a plethora of witnesses, from Peter Coyote and Theodore Roszak (author of “The Making of a Counter Culture”), to runaway girls on the street, the Grateful Dead, San Francisco mayor Jack Shelley and state assemblyman Willie Brown, among many participants in that summer experience. The Dead play on Haight Street, tour bus drivers narrate the hippie tour and their riders comment on what they see. A community forms out of countless individuals, the arts thrive, youth finds freedom of lifestyles, the Establishment reacts.
The music, the images, the people who survived tell the story, with an array of archival film clips and photos rarely if ever screened, beginning with the January 20, 1967, Human Be-in in Golden Gate Park where a new generation found out they weren’t alone, through the summer, and into its aftermath as the original participants moved on, leaving the streets to overpopulation, drugs and crime. Nonetheless, the memory of the Summer of Love remains an ephemeral reminder of the hope for a different vision of the world, captured in this vivid film.