Documentary on Pete Seeger & social movements

If i had a hammar

Artist: Pete Seeger

Duration: 58

Created: Tue, 26 Sep 2006

Category: Documentary

Just saw this documentary that reviews some of the major social movements in the US through songs of Pete Seeger. I had not realised that Pete Seeger was the composer of many hugely popular songs including we shall overcome and if I had a hammer. The documentary is weaved by a presentation by Pete himself who takes us through various important social movements including Trade Union movements in various cities, civil rights movement, far workers movement, feminist movement, peace movement and finally the environment movement. There are powerful clips of videos from each of these driving home the message of social change that has happened, and change that has to happen.

A determined Pete Seeger talks about his role in the movements interspersed with his songs. Who imagined that Berlin wall will come down peacefully, that a World War III will not happen, or that workers will have much improved conditions, asks Pete. He has a strong message against fatalism and a message to get moving and to do something. He also underscores the importance of organising and getting together. The central message of the documentary – we got the people together, and the miracle happened.

The documentary was produced by a local (read Syracuse) person.

We shall overcome by Dean Reed

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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