woodstock movie

Fans climb high to see the stage at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Movies in the summer air are an American tradition, one that the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute is celebrating with its inaugural Cinema in the Park on Friday.

Grab a picnic blanket and your favorite film aficionado and head to Monument Valley Park for an evening filled with live music from the Ryan Flores Band, and the movie “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation.”

“Other events (the RMWFI puts on) throughout the year focus on elevating women’s voices, and the voices and stories of people that are less heard and less seen. Woodstock fits into that, because we’re also about showing fun celebratory films, and this movie falls into that category,” says RMWFI executive director Linda Broker.

This film showcases the Woodstock Music Festival, with never-before-seen footage of the cultural event that defined a generation, even in the midst of the Vietnam War.

By showing the political drama of civil rights, sexual awakening,\ and military upheaval, the concert is that much more extraordinary. Witness over half-a-million young people gather in the rain to celebrate music, peace and love.

“For this particular event, we certainly look for a film that has a bit of an outdoor bent to it,” says Broker.

“This film is one that kind of came across our radar, and we just thought in light of the original Woodstock concert it totally lent itself to an outdoor screening. We just hope that we don’t have the same rain they had, and we hope our event is a little better organized than theirs was.”

Filmmaker Barak Goodman wanted not only to show how large Woodstock’s impact was on our society, but on the individual attendees.

Their stories are peppered through this film, as unseen individuals share their experience at the festival. We meet the founders, John Roberts and Joel Makower, the idea man, Michael Lang, and the 50-year-old host, Max Yasgur.

“Everyone is generally familiar with Woodstock as a concert,” Broker says, “but this film really puts the concert in context of what was going on in the world at that time.”

This event coincides with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, which is set to be commemorated with a Woodstock 50 concert in Bethel, N.Y.

Enjoy live music before the film screening, and break out your favorite psychedelic swag for the Hippie Costume Contest, the winner of which will win free admission to the 32nd Annual Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival.

Kate Powell, The Gazette,

kate.powell@gazette.com

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