May 17th 2016

Here Come the Videofreex, directed by Jon Nealon, and Jenny Raskin

A vintage black-and-white video clip of two hippie dudes getting high amid peals of helpless laughter makes for a keynote kickoff to an essential documentary chronicling the pioneering efforts of the Videofreex. In possession of then-new portable video technology, three kids meet up at Woodstock and soon expand to a collective of self-styled radicals and self-taught videographers who snatch a front row seat on street-level history in the turbulent Sixties and Seventies. Their ventures range from an ill-fated collaboration with CBS to the establishment of the first pirate TV channel, and their body of work, seen in newly restored clips, features interviews with Abbie Hoffman and Black Panther Fred Hampton, and includes coverage of Vietnam War protests, women’s marches, the 1972 Republican Convention, and more. DCP digital. (BS)

The Videofreex archive is housed at Video Data Bank (VDB), a leading resource in the US for video by and about contemporary artists, located at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – chronicling the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

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