Revolution (1968)

There isn’t much of a love or respect for the hippy culture in “Revolution” which is consistently referred to as the beatnik culture with a lot of derision on the tone of various interviewers. While the idea of free love and peace from war still continues on in this documentary, “Revolution” focuses on the folks that are merely just kind of parasitic and miss the point as a whole. One of the big images that sum up the entire message of the film is the title “Revolution” sprawled across the screen while angelic and thick headed hippy Today Malone lies in a field fast asleep and high on whatever she’d taken the night before. “Revolution” is kind of a mixed message of a film, based around psychedelic imagery and large interludes of great hippy rock music.

All the while we get a deeper sense of the truth behind the counter culture. These are the people losing their minds in hospitals after bad LSD fixes, and are complaining because restaurants in Haight Ashbury don’t allow them to sit around and linger anymore, and are demanding they pay for actual food and drinks. “Revolution” could easily be mistaken for a documentary about the fun lifestyle of the hippy and how much freedom it entails, but director really depicts it as a place of nothingness leading nowhere. Probably the most fascinating moments revolve around runaway Today Malone, a gorgeous young woman who lists a slew of educational accomplishments when we meet her.

Why she chose to spend her life high on LSD and walking around the streets asking for money for oatmeal is anyone’s guess. Today Malone is a mystery when we meet her, and she’s very much a mystery when the documentary closes, enveloping her in to a black hole of rock, homelessness, and apparent drug addiction. All things considered, there are some unique montages of this sub-culture in their own environment, and keen unfiltered insights in to their philosophy. There are also some memorable performances by Country Joe and The Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and The Steve Miller Band. “Revolution” is pretty much the antithesis to “Woodstock,” and points the spotlight on a subculture that would inevitably come crashing down in to reality.