WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
A dreamlike, multilayered film... spins out different threads of the 1960s revolution and weaves together something quirky and hopeful and touching.
-- Harvard Magazine, https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2019/03/excavating-1968
Ariel Smolik-Valles, idealistic, curious, and articulate, is a wonderfully appealing protagonist.
-- Wendy Kuhn Silk, Harvard-Radcliffe '68, Professor and Plant Biologist Emerita at U. C. Davis and musician-at-large
There's a Dylanesque, kaleidoscopic coherence to this film. From a senior thesis on Vietnam to Virgil's Aeneid, from a classroom full of rambunctious children to musical performances: life's changes, societal tumults, personal exploration and artistic expression all prove yet again to be inextricably intertwined - in the 60s, and still now today.
-- Matthew Collins, Ph.D., Harvard University Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures,
Scholar of Dante and of Bob Dylan
I loved the theme of forward cultural transmission, and the expanding awareness by your young subject of the interrelations of all that was going on. I hope her contemporaries watch the film and learn something from it about how to exercise their resistance to convention, their instincts for joy, and their free will.
--Harry Lewis ’68, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University
Multi-layered, intense, fast-paced and educational.
-- Rick Pearl, contributor to ISIS, the Bob Dylan magazine
The counterculture is still alive and kickin' in Peter Coonradt's inspiring and endearing film. Catch it if you can.
-- Todd Boli '68, poet and independent scholar
This thing was simply dreadful. It gave drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll a bad name. A seemingly endless cavalcade of desiccated, content less, dull, self-centered dysfunctionals from the 60s. The highest and best use of this “work” is as a cautionary tale to be used by the “Just Say No’” brigades.
-- Frank L McNamara, Jr.
Peter Coonradt's limber, thoughtful and affectionate memoir of Harvard now and 50 years ago gives cause to celebrate the class of ‘68 with its hindsight, foresight, spirit, wisdom and lots and lots of music. Using a modern-day student seeker of the truths of the past as our guide, UNDERGROUND 68 offers insight, welcome perspective and a very good time indeed.
-- Tim Hunter ‘68, Ivy Films, Director, “River’s Edge”
As an undergraduate at MIT, class of ‘63, I was politically clueless. But the war and psychedelics woke me up when I arrived at Stanford where I became an anti-war protest leader. Peter's film emphasizes the counterculture more than opposition to the war. Both were important, but the counterculture may have had the longer lasting effect. The music and poetry of those times live on.
The critical statement of the film is the need to communicate what those cultural shifts have achieved. How can we wake up today's youth?
-- Gary Feldman, retired pediatrician and public health officer
WOW . . . the thesis scene at the end is an emotional burst of reality. As I wiped tears from my eyes I contemplated how I’ve been affected by the search for truth and justice and how we all live a lifetime in the same path. Powerful message . . . . true to our times.
-- Donovan Stark, musician and recording engineer
Where can the utopian impulse of the 1960's counterculture be found today? Is it relevant to the current generation of protesters and activists? Musicians, artists and activists of the Harvard-Radcliffe class of 1968 give some hints.
-- Hayat Nancy Abuza, Radcliffe '68
Where is that revolutionary spirit today? Where is that hope for a better world that permeated the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s? If it existed in those times long past, then we must be able to tap into its strength for all the things worth fighting for today. I felt a mixture of sadness and hope as the credits rolled.
-- Ben Roy, Harvard class of 2020
“The past was close behind” -- Bob Dylan. It’s 2017 and Ariel is writing a thesis on Harvard alumni half a century before her time. To understand 1968 and the anti-Vietnam war protests, she is invited to explore the mid-late 1960s counterculture. A young lady among the professors, every time she asks what to do to gain an understanding, she is told: “Listen to Bob Dylan”. Dylan’s words and music, via surviving alumni of Harvard 68 beatniks and educators, are her guide as she explores that recent, and yet very distant past when her gender was as repressed as the paranoid and insecure white male leaders of her present government wish all women to be today. Of all the evocative images of the past, the one that struck home with the most profound impact was the lunch counter from Woolworth’s in Greensboro where four courageous black youths exercised their right to occupy seats. We now gaze at that counter, trying to comprehend why such bravery was needed to partake in what should have been a mundane, daily, midday ritual.
-- Andrew Muir, former editor of Judas! the Bob Dylan fanzine, whose fourth Dylan book Dylan and Shakespeare: In the True Performing of It is due out in May