Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation

Never mind Altamont or the Spahn Ranch, here's the sanitized Sixties.

It’s debatable whether a four-day event in August of 1969 attended by approximately 400,000 people can define a generation which numbers over 75 million people in the United States alone, but Barak Goodman’s documentary Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation prints the legend right there in its mathematically dubious title. With its brisk, 95-minute running time, it’s necessarily a CliffNotes take on the event, and Goodman’s emphasis is the not-unremarkable fact that the ginormous, rain-soaked clusterfuck was pulled off without any deaths or outbreaks of violence. Granted, a brief shot of a “Woodstock Medical Log” lists “Abortion, Incomplete and Complete: 8” and “Abortions, Threatened: 12,” but like the old axiom says, a dozen threatened abortions is the price of an ephemeral utopia.

As for the generation it supposedly defined, the one that now gives Millennials shit for wanting safe spaces and accuses them of expecting everything for free? We hear Woodstock described as “this shining place that you could go to and feel like you weren’t a misfit,” and which represented “the freedom of being able to be who you were” — and all this about an event where half the attendees arrived expecting to get in without paying. Turns out Woodstock was four days that defined a generation as a bunch of fucking snowflakes. (No homo!)

Not rated. Opens Friday at the Opera Plaza Cinema.

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