As our country continues to embroil itself in foreign wars and pins its hopes on a new leader's promise for change, 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, Ed Sanders, and others.
- Kenneth Bowser
- Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens, Ed Sanders
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
At once an unsentimental portrait of the ambitious singer who thought himself bound for glory, and an affecting elegy for a time when song was a form of revolution.Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, 01.20.2011
A warts-and-all portrait of a singer and his celebrity, Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune is an overdue look at the '60s folk movement's anti-Dylan.John Anderson, Variety, 01.05.2011
The short and tragic life of Phil Ochs is as involving as the music he wrote and played, and that is saying a great deal.Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 03.03.2011
Not only a biography but also a running history of the period's left-wing activism, replete with film clips of that decade's tragic events.Stephen Holden, New York Times, 01.05.2011