On TV: HOLLY NEAR: SINGING FOR OUR LIVES

Coming to PBS’s American Masters tomorrow, Friday, March 1:
HOLLY NEAR: SINGING FOR OUR LIVES

Director:
Jim Brown

Premiere:
Mill Valley 2018

About:
The story of the singer-songwriter and how her music fueled decades of activism.

Though beloved by and particularly influential to second wave feminists, Holly Near perhaps is not as well-known to the general public. Jim Brown’s biographical portrait provides a capable overview of the performer’s life, career, and impact, charting her development from aspiring young actress to folk musician and independent record label founder as the head of Redwood Records. A central focus of the film is how Near and her music served as a soundtrack to the social and cultural revolutions taking place in the 1970s, including the anti-war movement, feminism, and gay and lesbian liberation. Of particular note are Near’s participation in Jane Fonda’s Free the Army Tour, an anti-Viet Nam War variety show for soldiers modeled after Bob Hope’s USO Tour; her public coming out as a lesbian in People Magazine and the unapologetic same-sex focus of some of her songs, often performed in women-only concerts, creating a space for a legion of newly visible lesbian fans; and her later championing of the voices of South American women.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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