Skip to content

Directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin

United States 1970 91 mins. In English

This tragic, harrowing film follows the Rolling Stones on their 1969 US tour, which ended with the violent debacle at Altamont. Gimme Shelter is one of the great concert films—and in 2020 celebrates its 50th anniversary. Filmed in a cinema-verité style by legendary documentarians the Maysles Brothers with Charlotte Zwerin, we go behind the scenes with the Stones as they approach their artistic height, between the Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed LPs and only a couple of years before Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street would cement them as legends. Following the Stones to Muscle Shoals and Madison Square Garden, the film’s moral center revolves the controversial and violent Altamont Free Concert, attended by some 300,000 revelers, which ended as one of rock’s great failures, albeit fascinating for unintended reasons. Gimme Shelter perceptively tracks the strange occurrences around the Stones of ‘69, cementing its place in documentary and rock lore.

Part of the 37th Annual Reel Music Festival.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Reel Music 37

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.