A legend of American music, Pete Seeger was the architect of the folk revival, penning such classics as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "If I Had A Hammer." An outspoken advocate of peace, unionism, civil rights, and the environment, he was targeted by the Communist witch hunt of the 1950s and was picketed, protested, blacklisted, and, despite his enormous popularity, banned from television for more than 17 years. With a combination of never-before-seen archival footage, Seeger's own personal films, and interviews with musicians like Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Maines, and Peter, Paul and Mary, this new documentary paints an intimate portrait of an icon who has profoundly influenced the fabric of American music.
But Pete Seeger is so much more than an icon: he is a living, breathing example of true heroism, of what life can look like if one lives committed to his ideals, and no matter what, keeps on going. To watch Pete on the big screen is to watch a human manifestation of God, shining so full of light and love that you can't help but feel that anything is possible.
The MVFF is excited to have Willie Mason and Colin Ruel performing before the film. This is a unique opportunity to mix young and old, all in the spirit of song, and to witness what Pete's been singing about for all of these years.
Willie Mason and Colin Ruel will perform at the Capawock in Vineyard Haven on 6:30 pm, Thursday, March 6. "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song," will follow at 7 pm. For more information call, 508-645-9599.
Thomas Bena is the founder of Martha's Vineyard Film Festival.