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As our country continues to embroil itself in foreign wars, Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune is a timely and relevant tribute to an unlikely American hero. Over the course of a meteoric music career that spanned two turbulent decades, Phil Ochs sought the bright lights of fame and social justice in equal measure – a contradiction that eventually tore him apart.
From youthful idealism to rage to pessimism, the arch of Ochs’ life paralleled that of the times, and the anger, satire and righteous indignation that drove his music also drove him to dark despair. In this brilliantly constructed film, interview and performance footage of Ochs is illuminated by the ruminations of Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens and others.
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“In Judy Gumbo’s Yippie Girl, she shares her adventures as one of very few Yippie girls with her fellow travelers including my father Phil Ochs. The Yippies’ unending creativity and courage provided the sardonic wit, wisdom, insight, and brutal honesty in the form of political music and theater needed for the revolution of the 60s. Judy’s stories effortlessly dance between playful and profound and always deeply personal. With the world fractured by orchestrated divisiveness, Yippie Girl is a healing balm.” —Meegan Lee Ochs, daughter of Phil Ochs, Artist Relations Manager, ACLU of Southern California