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Directed by Amir Bar-Lev

United States 2017 238 mins.

Whether you are a dedicated Deadhead or not, Bar-Lev’s absorbing, inspiring film offers rewards for any student of rock music, American history, or exceptional documentary filmmaking. Tracing the band’s journey from humble beginnings to unlikely legend, it weaves the strands of American music, an era of social and artistic experimentation, and the arc of late 20th-century counterculture. Unseen home movies, concert clips, and new interviews with band and crew members reveal an astonishing history and the singular power of music to shape culture. “It’s both a love letter to the band and its lifer fans, and a peerless glimpse into the mindset of musicians who risked it all to find transcendence in camaraderie and the right improvised chord progression.”—David Fear, Rolling Stone.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Reel Music 35

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.