Feb. 28 through March 5

Award-winning rock doc fundraiser screening at Colonial

Feb 21, 2020
Photo by: David Bieber WBCN airstaff circa 1969.

BELFAST — "WBCN and The American Revolution" is coming to Belfast. The popular award-winning documentary, which vividly profiles the outsized cultural, political and musical impact of a legendary community rock radio station in the late '60s and early '70s, will screen at The Colonial Theater, 163 High St., for a week-long engagement beginning Friday, Feb. 28.

For tickets and showtimes, please visit colonialtheater.com.

“From its sneak preview screening at Cinequest in California to the DC Independent Film Festival, where it was named ‘Best Documentary,’ to IFF Boston, where it sold out a 900-seat screening, audiences across the country have been engaged, inspired, and invigorated by this film,” says Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Bill Lichtenstein, who began working at Boston's WBCN at the age of 14 in 1970. “'WBCN and The American Revolution' tells the incredible, true story of how, in its day, this radio station, political activism, and rock and roll changed everything. It’s very fitting that a screening of this film will support WBFY and its invaluable work.”

A high-energy feature-length documentary, "WBCN and The American Revolution" follows a compelling cast of characters as their lives connect and intersect during the rise of the legendary radio station that became both a player in and a platform for the explosive rock ‘n roll counterculture, passionate anti-war movement, and burgeoning civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights movements.

The dramatic and compelling stories in "WBCN and The American Revolution" are interwoven with the original sights and sounds of the critical events of the late 1960s and early 1970s, thanks to more than 100,000 audio and visual items, many of which were donated to the project, as well as never before exhibited film shot by Andy Warhol and cinema vérité pioneer Ricky Leacock; images from notable photographers including the late Peter Simon, brother of singer Carly Simon; and Jeff Albertson, as well as aircheck audio from memorable on-air, in-studio moments.

The film includes fresh first-person accounts from the station’s staff, as well as both newly filmed and archival material featuring leading political, social, cultural and musical figures of the day, including Noam Chomsky, Jane Fonda, Jerry Garcia, Abbie Hoffman, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, in his first radio interview, and Patti Smith, performing with her band in her first live radio broadcast.

As an off-shoot of the film’s massive research efforts, a permanent archive of materials related to WBCN and the political and cultural events of the era has been established at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, including the life's work of photographers Peter Simon and Jeff Albertson (Bit.Ly/WBCNarchives) and a 24/7 streaming audio feed of broadcast material and music from the era can be heard at amrev.airtime.pro.

Filmmaker Bill Lichtenstein is himself a WBCN veteran. He began working at the station in 1970 at the age of 14, first as a volunteer on the station’s Listener Line and later as a newscaster and announcer with his own program. His last film, "West 47th Street," won the Special Jury Award for Documentary Film at the 2001 Atlanta Film Festival; Audience Award for Best Long Form Documentary at the 2002 DC Independent Film Festival; and Honorable Mention at the 2002 Woodstock Film Festival. It aired on PBS’s P.O.V. and was called “must see” by Newsweek and “remarkable” by the Washington Post.





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