It was a time when a generation rebelled and lost its innocence. From the Vietnam War to the struggle for racial equality to the birth of a counter-culture explosion, the 1960s was a decade of change, experimentation and h... more »ope that transformed an entire nation. The two-hour documentary features revealing interviews with the prominent figures of the era including: Barbara Ehrenreich, Daniel Ellsberg, Jesse Jackson, Tom Hayden, Arlo Guthrie, Henry Kissinger, Norman Mailer, Robert McNamara, Ed Meese III and Bobby Seale.« less
"It is one thing to have lived through the 1960s. What is remembered is disjointed, biased and incomplete. This DVD puts the time, causes, results and people in a holistic perspective. Living through the time you only caught bits and pieces of the politics, music, demonstrations, police actions and changing social mores.
This ties many things together in context: music, social values and changes, demonstrations and "establishment" efforts to maintain power and the status quo and vigorous resistance to change. What is remarkable is that the changes brought about in the 1960s occurred in many countries around the world, not just university communities of the U.S. Many of our current laws and perspectives are strongly shaped by the changes that began in the 1950s, reached a peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and continue through today.
We currently find ourselves revisiting old battles and fighting false and unsustainable values and goals. This puts things in perspective and reminds us that a quality and sustainable civilization requires continuing effort and diligence against those who only think short-term and seek power. The 1960s were idealistic, but many of us now find ourselves an integral part of society, while continuing to hold onto the lofty goals of the 1960s.
Should be required viewing for all, especially those who aspire to political office."
If you were there, it's O.K; if not this leaves a lot of que
Oregon Hippie | Philomath, OR USA | 06/30/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you already have a good grounding in the "Sixties," this production isn't bad.
The problem is that it really is more 1964-74 rather than the "Sixties." It glosses over many of the events, and if you have the background that's O.K. because you KNOW the necessary details. But, if you are mostly clueless about the times the necessary background to understand why events are occurring is arguably sparse.
I also find the use of current era talking heads from 1990s to explain what is happening is a bit distracting. We had fine news coverage in the 1960s. Why not use that footage to explain the times and supplement it with comments from current social commentators, rather than do it in the reverse as this production does.
For those who want to relieve the days, it's an O.K. piece, though a bit shallow. For those who don't have a clue and want to understand what happened, I'm afraid it will leave them a bit lost."
Teri S | Wenatchee, Washington | 11/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a person who was a college aged person during the sixties, watching this video brought back many of the feelings experienced then and are resurrecting themselves now. The domestic violence in the streets certainly is down, however our participation in a questionable war goes right back to 40 years ago! The assassinations of JFK,Malcolm X,MLK,and Bobby Kennedy along with a generation of American soldiers and Vietnamese people being injured/killed stills affects me profoundly. I hope people who watch this keep these events in mind when they enter the voting booth again. And remember that many of the young people portrayed in this video are the senior citizens today!"
Lukewarm rehashing of the 1960s that is best viewed as a pri
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 12/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Sixties: The Years That Shaped A Generation gives us a broad retrospective of these times although this suffers from two major flaws. The DVD documents mostly the years between 1967 and 1974; and there should have been more newsreel footage from that era instead of interviews with historians who weren't always present at the major demonstrations.
The archival footage is in very good shape as we see the youth of the 1960s spearheading the development of major social movements. We see many college students, black people and women fighting for fundamental social change and greater equality with the white male population. There is good footage of Martin Luther King, Jr. as he gives his speeches; and the footage of Bobby Kennedy was great also. It's positive to see that the 1960s produced major advances in equality for blacks, student rights, women and gays.
Some of the interviews by Arlo Guthrie and Henry Kissinger are valuable because these people were deeply politically involved during a time a rapid social change and upheaval. I didn't see the advantage of interviewing others like Pat Buchanan. Yes, he wrote speeches for Nixon, but I didn't get the impression he publicly involved himself in any movement, left or right, of the day.
I must say once again that the title is going to mislead you. Yes, this covers the turbulent 1960s; but it starts with 1966 and 1967--not 1960. The viewer, therefore, gets the message that the makers of this film don't consider anything before 1966 or 1967 as being noteworthy. I would disagree.
The DVD doesn't have bonus features--unless you count "scene selection." Sigh.
Overall, I recommend this for people who want an elementary introduction to one of the most turbulent times in recent American history. Students of global history will appreciate the footage of student protests in other countries across the globe. Unfortunately, however, I think the film was made somewhat carelessly. There's scarcely any information about the years before 1967; and the interview footage adds color but just not enough."
A good documentary with a misleading title
Lawrence J. King | Washington, DC USA | 06/04/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary was actually released in two versions: this two-hour version, and a one-hour version entitled "1968: The Year That Shaped A Generation". That's why this documentary spends half of its time in 1968!
To get a feel of how it flows, here is how it breaks down, minute by minute. 0:00-0:02 "Introduction". 0:02-0:05 "The Early Sixties". 0:05-0:28 "1967". 0:28-1:21 "1968". 1:21-1:37 "1969". 1:37-1:46 "1970". 1:46-1:49 "1971 to 1974". 1:49-1:54 "Conclusion". In other words, this video should really be called "1967 to 1974", not "the Sixties"! Of course, the most "radical" period of student rebellions was from 1967 to 1971, and that's why the video focuses on this period.
The hour spent in 1968 is almost exactly identical to the one-hour "1968" documentary, which you may have seen on PBS (it has been released on VHS, but not DVD), with only some very minor changes such as the addition of a couple minutes about early feminism.
Anyway, this documentary is very entertaining if you enjoy watching archival news footage of Martin Luther King, George Wallace, and riots in America, Paris, Czechoslovakia, and Mexico City! But as the other reviewers have noted, it's not aimed at young people who are completely unfamiliar with the Sixties. If you don't already know who George Wallace and Hubert Humphrey are, then you may find this program somewhat confusing."