Berkeley in the Sixties (1990)

117 mins | Documentary | 19 September 1990

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HISTORY

The following dedication appears in opening credits: “Dedicated to Fred Cody of Cody’s Books, 1916-1983, The Heart of Berkeley.”
       End credits are preceded by the following title cards: “Frank Bardacke left Berkeley in 1970, and spent the next decade working in the fields and canneries near Salinas, CA. He is still a leftist, active in labor and community politics. Now he teaches at Watsonville Adult School”; “Jentri Anders moved north and joined a community descended from the original Haight-Ashbury hippies. She wrote an anthropological study of her community, Beyond Counter-Culture, and remains an activist”; “John Gage helped to organize a national moratorium against he Vietnam War in 1969, then joined the McGovern campaign, which earned him a place on President Nixon’s enemies list. Now he is an executive at Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley”; “Jack Weinberg turned to organizing in factories, eventually to become a steel worker. Due to a declining industry, he lost his job in 1984. Recently he became coordinator for Greenpeace’s Great Lakes Project in Chicago”; “Jackie Goldberg became a teacher in Compton, CA. In 1983 she was elected to the Los Angeles Board of Education and is now its president”; “Michael Rossman stayed in Berkeley, became a writer and science teacher, and continues to roam the fields of political culture”; “Bobby Seale was put on trial for conspiracy and murder. After acquittal, he ran for Mayor of Oakland in 1973, and then left the Black Panther Party. He wrote a cookbook, Barbecuing with Bobby, and now teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia”; “David Hilliard also stood trial, as part of a government program to destroy the Black Panthers. He spent four ... More Less

The following dedication appears in opening credits: “Dedicated to Fred Cody of Cody’s Books, 1916-1983, The Heart of Berkeley.”
       End credits are preceded by the following title cards: “Frank Bardacke left Berkeley in 1970, and spent the next decade working in the fields and canneries near Salinas, CA. He is still a leftist, active in labor and community politics. Now he teaches at Watsonville Adult School”; “Jentri Anders moved north and joined a community descended from the original Haight-Ashbury hippies. She wrote an anthropological study of her community, Beyond Counter-Culture, and remains an activist”; “John Gage helped to organize a national moratorium against he Vietnam War in 1969, then joined the McGovern campaign, which earned him a place on President Nixon’s enemies list. Now he is an executive at Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley”; “Jack Weinberg turned to organizing in factories, eventually to become a steel worker. Due to a declining industry, he lost his job in 1984. Recently he became coordinator for Greenpeace’s Great Lakes Project in Chicago”; “Jackie Goldberg became a teacher in Compton, CA. In 1983 she was elected to the Los Angeles Board of Education and is now its president”; “Michael Rossman stayed in Berkeley, became a writer and science teacher, and continues to roam the fields of political culture”; “Bobby Seale was put on trial for conspiracy and murder. After acquittal, he ran for Mayor of Oakland in 1973, and then left the Black Panther Party. He wrote a cookbook, Barbecuing with Bobby, and now teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia”; “David Hilliard also stood trial, as part of a government program to destroy the Black Panthers. He spent four years in jail. After the death of Huey Newton in 1989, he started a new organization to address problems in Oakland’s black community”; “Ruth Rosen became a pioneer in the field of women’s history and is now a professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She continues to work for women’s rights”; “Suzy Nelson started a successful restaurant in Berkeley, which she uses to support the Palestinian cause and to promote peace in Central America”; “Barry Melton became a lawyer. At night, he still makes music with the Dinosaurs”; “John Searle is still a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley”; “Mike Miller is a professional organizer. In 1972, he started the Organize Training Center, which works with labor and grassroots community organizations”; “Hardy Frye took part in the Third World Strike, then finished a Ph.D. Now he is a sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz”; “Susan Griffin became a prominent feminist intellectual, exploring issues from abortion to ecology. Now she is writing a book on the private life of war.”
       End credits include the following: “Archival sources: Three San Francisco television stations donated the use of their archives. Many independent filmmakers also contributed to the making of this film. Thanks to everyone who helped track down footage from the 1960s: KRON; KPIX; KQED; Sons & Daughters by Stephen Lighthill, Jerry Stoll & Sally Pugh; San Francisco Good Times by Eugene Rosow & Alan Francovich; From Protest to Resistance by Irving Saraf, Saul Landau & Richard Moore; How We Stopped the War by David Peoples; Decision in the Streets, Hot Damn, No Greater Cause by Harvey Richards; Black Panthers, America, Paris in the Month of May by the members of Newsreel; Let a Thousand Parks Bloom, The Last March by Lenny Lipton; Off-On by Scott Bartlett; Be Together by Gregory Burke; Gone for a Better Deal by Will Vinton, ©Will Vinton – all rights reserved, distributed by Will Vinton Productions; America Against Itself from the Catticus Corp., Berkeley; The Black Panthers by Agnes Varda; March on Washington by Steve Talbot; KCRA, ©Kelly Broadcasting Company, thanks to Harry Sweet; Sacramento History Center; Haight-Ashbury Footage by Robert Charlton & Allen Willis; People’s Park footage by Peter Adair, Pekka Niemeta, Lou Calderon & Russell Watkins; CBS News Archive; Worldwide Television News; Library of Congress; California Alumni Association; Pacific Film Archive; Pacifica Radio Archives; Photo backdrops by Jeffrey Blankfort, Pinkie Jones, Ted Streshinsky, David Gahr, Nacio Jan Brown, Hella Hamid, Gene Anthony, Michael Rossman, Lou de la Torre, Daily Californian, Helen Nestor, California Monthly ; Police car sit-in photographs by Paul Fusco; Fred Cody photograph by Richard Bermack”; "Funding: This film was produced in association with P.O.V. with funds from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Public Television Stations. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in part through a Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowship awarded by the Rocky Mountain Film Center, Boulder, Colorado, in a program sponosored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Film Institute, with additional funds from the California Arts Council." Names of individual investors are listed after the following statement in end credits: "It took a mass movement to make this film. More than a thousand people contributed financial support. The filmmakers wish to express their gratitude."
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Berkeley in the Sixties was made over the course of six years. Nearly 100 people collaborated on the film, many as volunteers, and the $300,000 budget was financed by over 1,000 private investors. Production began fall 1985, when six of the fifteen interviews were shot, using a front-screen projector to throw photographic images onto interview subjects. Around the same time, twenty volunteers began archival research, mining 800 boxes of footage, including the archives of three television stations (KRON, KPIX, and KQED) who only charged one dollar for the rights to their newsfilms. Some of the People’s Park footage shown in the film took three years to locate and came from Finland.
       Editing commenced fall 1986. The first rough cut was finished in one year, with a running time of more than three hours. Final interviews were shot in 1988, after more funding was obtained from private sources and West German television rights were sold, as noted in a 9 Dec 1988 HR article. The final round of editing began Jan 1989, and finishing funds were provided by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series P.O.V.
       An unsourced article in AMPAS library files stated that Mark Kitchell tried to interview Mario Savio, who appears in stock footage as a leader of the Free Speech Movement. However, Savio, who had become a teacher at Sonoma State University, refused to participate after Kitchell denied his request that a committee be set up to determine the final cut of the film.
       According to an article in the 15 Apr 1990 SFChron, an answer print was obtained only one day prior to the Jan 1990 screening at the U.S. (Sundance) Film Festival, where Berkeley in the Sixties received the Audience Award for Best Documentary. One month later, the documentary screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, and in mid-Aug 1990, it made its theatrical debut on one screen in Garberville, CA, as noted in a 16 Aug 1990 DV.
       Berkeley in the Sixties received an Academy Award nomination for Documentary (Feature) and was awarded Best Documentary by the National Society of Film Critics.
       The documentary had its television debut 23 Jul 1991 on P.O.V., as stated in a 21 Jul 1991 LAT item.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 1990
p. 10, 23.
Los Angeles Times
19 Sep 1990
p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jul 1991
p. 10.
New York Times
26 Sep 1990
p. 11.
San Francisco Chronicle
15 Apr 1990.
---
Variety
1 Oct 1990
pp. 82-83.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Kitchell Films in association with P.O.V. Theatrical Films
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
Film laboratory
Duplicate negatives
Printing
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Conforming
SOUND
Asst [Sd ed]
Asst [Sd ed]
Sd mixing
SRO
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
Front screen eff
Front screen eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst prod
Asst prod
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Archival research
Special thanks, Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transcribing
Transcribing
Transcribing
Transcribing
Prod & ed facilities
Stage & projector
Legal counsel
Pollard, Bauman, Slome & McIntosh
Accounting
Bodywork
Sponsored by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Keep A Knockin,'" performed & written by Little Richard (Richard Penniman), courtesy of Vee Jay Records
"No Hole In My Head," performed & written by Malvina Reynolds, courtesy of Schroder Music ©1965
"Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Freedom," performed & arranged by the SNCC Freedom Singers, courtesy of Bernice Johnson Reagon
+
SONGS
"Keep A Knockin,'" performed & written by Little Richard (Richard Penniman), courtesy of Vee Jay Records
"No Hole In My Head," performed & written by Malvina Reynolds, courtesy of Schroder Music ©1965
"Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Freedom," performed & arranged by the SNCC Freedom Singers, courtesy of Bernice Johnson Reagon
"All My Trials," performed & arranged by Joan Baez, ©1960 Chandos Music, courtesy of Vanguard Records, a Welk Record Group Company
"We Shall Overcome," performed by Joan Baez, courtesy of Vanguard Records, a Welk Record Group Company
"Oski Dolls," from the Free Speech Carols, written by Joe La Penta, courtesy of Cireco Music
"I Ain't Marchin' Anymore," performed & written by Phil Ochs, courtesy of Elektra Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Purple Haze," performed & written by Jimi Hendrix, courtesy of Bella Godiva Inc. and A.R.M., N.V.
"Section 43," performed by Country Joe & the Fish, written by Joe McDonald, courtesy of Rag Baby Records
"Viola Lee Blues," performed by the Grateful Dead, written by Noah Lewis, courtesy of Warner Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag," performed by Country Joe & the Fish, written by Joe McDonald, courtesy of Vanguard Records, a Welk Record Group Company
"Fortunate Son," performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival, written by John Fogerty, courtesy of Fantasy Records
"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," performed & written by Gil Scott Heron, courtesy of RCA-Bluebird Records
"Did You Go Downtown," performed by Joy of Cooking, written by Terry Garthwaite, courtesy of Capitol Records
"Death Sound Blues," performed by Country Joe & the Fish, written by Joe McDonald, courtesy of Vanguard Records, a Welk Record Group Company
"The Weight," performed by The Band, written by Robbie Robertson, courtesy of Capitol Records
"Embryonic Journey," performed & written by Jorma Kaukonen, courtesy of RCA Records
"They All Sang Bread and Roses," performed by Ronnie Gilbert, written by Si Kahn, Joe Hill Music, courtesy of Abbe Alice Music.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 September 1990
Premiere Information:
Garberville, CA opening: mid-August 1990
Los Angeles opening: 19 September 1990
New York opening: 26 September 1990
Production Date:
fall 1985--1989
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
117
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In May 1960, students at the University of California, Berkeley, protested a House of Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearing at San Francisco City Hall. While HUAC members interrogated suspected Communists, police used physical force to oust the demonstrators from the building. The incident was addressed in Operation Abolition, a film produced and distributed by HUAC which presented the protestors as part of a Communist plot. Instead of deterring young people from political activism, the film drew many dissidents to Berkeley, where student groups were involved in the civil rights movement amongst other causes. In 1963, hundreds of Berkeley students demonstrated at the Hilton Palace in San Francisco, demanding that the hotel hire African Americans. Although roughly 100 students were arrested, an agreement was eventually reached between the hotel industry and an ad hoc committee to end discrimination, in which hotels agreed to hire minorities at all levels. Berkeley activists considered the agreement a great victory, but soon faced a new threat when school administrators banned assemblage at the corner of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, where groups routinely met to promote causes. While the Berkeley administration was under pressure to minimize political activity, activists considered the ban a violation of their First Amendment rights and responded by establishing a Free Speech Movement (FSM) and setting up tables at Sather Gate on another part of campus. On 1 October 1964, five students manning the tables, and three others who organized the protest, received citations. When protestor Jack Weinberg was arrested, students surrounded the police car and blocked it from moving. Years later, Jack recalls that he was in the ... +


In May 1960, students at the University of California, Berkeley, protested a House of Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearing at San Francisco City Hall. While HUAC members interrogated suspected Communists, police used physical force to oust the demonstrators from the building. The incident was addressed in Operation Abolition, a film produced and distributed by HUAC which presented the protestors as part of a Communist plot. Instead of deterring young people from political activism, the film drew many dissidents to Berkeley, where student groups were involved in the civil rights movement amongst other causes. In 1963, hundreds of Berkeley students demonstrated at the Hilton Palace in San Francisco, demanding that the hotel hire African Americans. Although roughly 100 students were arrested, an agreement was eventually reached between the hotel industry and an ad hoc committee to end discrimination, in which hotels agreed to hire minorities at all levels. Berkeley activists considered the agreement a great victory, but soon faced a new threat when school administrators banned assemblage at the corner of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, where groups routinely met to promote causes. While the Berkeley administration was under pressure to minimize political activity, activists considered the ban a violation of their First Amendment rights and responded by establishing a Free Speech Movement (FSM) and setting up tables at Sather Gate on another part of campus. On 1 October 1964, five students manning the tables, and three others who organized the protest, received citations. When protestor Jack Weinberg was arrested, students surrounded the police car and blocked it from moving. Years later, Jack recalls that he was in the police car for thirty-two hours. Students took turns giving speeches on top of the car, and sang “We Shall Not Be Moved.” The protest brought together activists with differing views, such as Youth for Goldwater and the Socialist Alliance, and the result was a strengthening of Berkeley’s activist community. The administration finally allowed assemblage at Bancroft and Telegraph with the stipulation that activists could not advocate unlawful activity like civil disobedience, an essential tool used by the civil rights and leftist movements. The eight students who were cited at the 1 October 1964 protest were threatened with expulsion, prompting more protests. Jentri Anders remembers a demonstration at Sproul Hall, the campus administration building, in early December 1964, when she was instructed to “go limp” as police dragged her away. FSM leader Mario Savio made an impassioned speech in response to University of California President Clark Kerr’s comparison of the university to a private firm, urging students to throw their bodies onto the cogs of the “machine” if they did not wish to be made into a product. FSM leaders drafted a resolution that was approved by the faculty, and Savio addressed the victory in a speech urging students to use their newfound freedom responsibly. The Vietnam War became the next major focus of activism on campus, and in May 1965, the Vietnam Day Committee (VDC) was established. Students tried to stop trains carrying soldiers as they passed through Berkeley, and the VDC arranged an anti-war march on the Oakland Army Terminal. Although the city refused them a permit, protestors tried two days in a row to pass a police barricade, to no avail. One month later, a third march was successful. When Ronald Reagan campaigned for Governor of California in 1966, he attacked the Berkeley activists, insisting that they should have been thrown out of school. At the same time, a counterculture arose in San Francisco, where hippies rejected materialism and conservative values. Although they also opposed the war, the hippies’ approach to activism differed greatly from Berkeley radicals, who did not believe Vietnam could be stopped with something as passive as positive energy. In October 1967, Stop the Draft week was held in Oakland, where protestors aimed to shut down an Army induction center. Ruth Rosen recalls that activists became more militant around that time, and police fought back with increased brutality. Busloads of new Army recruits reported to the induction center, but none of them were persuaded to join the protestors. At a second demonstration, the induction center was successfully shut down for a day. Berkeley student John Gage witnessed the anti-war movement but did not believe activists were going about their cause in the right way. Instead, Gage decided that the war was only going to be stopped through elections. On 31 March 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not run for re-election. Meanwhile, the Black Panther Party, a militant, African American organization headed by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, came to prominence in Oakland, and many white, left-wing activists joined forces with them in search of a new cause. Hardy Frye, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), considered the Black Panthers’ white cohorts to be confused and in need of leaders. Anti-war protests began springing up around the world, in Mexico, Paris, France, and Prague, Czechoslovakia. Berkeley activist Frank Bardacke believed he was involved in a revolutionary movement at the time, although he later recognizes that that the anti-war protestors were not involved in a “revolutionary situation.” Suzy Nelson describes the start of the women’s movement toward the end of the 1960s, when female activists demanded to have an active role in various causes instead of being relegated to coffee making and pamphlet printing. John Gage attended the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where the police brutality condoned by Mayor Richard J. Daley dashed his hopes that Vietnam would be stopped by elected politicians. Berkeley students had another victory when they effected the establishment of an Ethnic Studies department at the university. However, violent strikes had caused tensions to rise on campus. In April 1969, students commandeered an unused lot owned by the school and converted it into “People’s Park.” Soil and grass were brought in for vegetable gardens, and a commune-like atmosphere was established. Berkeley professor John Searle recollects that the spirit behind the park was cynical. City Councilman John De Bonis accused the students of establishing the park to incite confrontation. One month later, Governor Ronald Reagan ordered the park to be shut down. A violent confrontation between activists and police ensued, and Berkeley student James Rector was shot and killed in the struggle. Reagan reprimanded university administrators for imparting students with too much authority. Later, when students gathered on campus to protest the closing of the park, Reagan sent National Guard troops to shut down the peaceful assembly and helicopters doused protestors with nausea gas. A Memorial Day March was organized in response to the incident. Although the activism boom of the 1960s came to an end, Jack Weinberg believes that Berkeley activists accomplished many important things in the 1960s, including the advancement of civil rights, the liberalization of American culture, the beginning of womens’ liberation, and the weakening of imperialistic foreign policy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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