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The Source (TV)

Original title
The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation (TV)
Running time
88 min.
United States United States
Chuck Workman
David Amram, Philip Glass
Andrew Dintenfass, Tom Hurwitz, Don Lenzer, José Louis Mignone, Nancy Schreiber
, , ,
Beat Productions / Calliope Films / WNET Channel 13 New York
Documentary | Biography. TV Movie. Historical Documentaries
Synopsis / Plot
Traces the Beats from Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac's meeting in 1944 at Columbia University to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in 1997. Three actors provide dramatic interpretations of the work of these three writers, and the film chronicles their friendships, their arrival into American consciousness, their travels, frequent parodies, Kerouac's death, and Ginsberg's politicization. Their movement connects with bebop, John Cage's music, abstract expressionism, and living theater. In recent interviews, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kesey, Ferlinghetti, Mailer, Jerry Garcia, Tom Hayden, Gary Snyder, Ed Sanders, and others measure the Beats' meaning and impact.
1999: Sundance Film Festival: Nominated for Grand Jury Prize
2000: Satellite Awards: Nominated for Best Documentary
Critics' reviews
  • "A must-see. Illuminates decades of bohemian activism. Exhilarating."
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