A critical analysis of the Counterculture Movement through film

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In this essay I will be looking at the topic of the countercultural movement of the 1960’s through counterculture film. The 1960’s were an extremely interesting time in history not only in the United States but all over the western world, as we saw the rise of the counterculture generation. The counter was a group of movements focused on achieving personal and cultural liberation and was embraced in many different ways by the decade’s young people. I have chosen this topic as the 60’s stand out for me as a revolutionary and often misrepresented period in history. The films I have chosen to look at are The Baader Meinhof Complex from director Uli Edel, Woodstock from Michael Wadleigh, Pirate Radio from Richard Curtis, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from director Terry Gilliam. I chose to analyse these films as I believe they clearly demonstrate the social and political issues of the 1960’s and societies response to them. From these films it has become clear to me that the 1960’s was a time of massive political and social upheaval, from the Hippie movement in the USA, to the student protests and the formation of the RAF in Germany. With the wave of young educated people that the baby boom created and the anger they held against their parents for racism, sexism, oppression, and a refusal to talk about the past it is no surprise to me that, there was a call for change. As Ulrike Meinhof said “I really don’t see the difference between the terrorism of the police that we have already experienced in Berlin and are threatened with now and the storm trooper terror of the Thirties” I think this quote sums up the feelings of the youth in Germany in the 60’s and this feeling of terror is carried well throughout the film The Baader Me... ... middle of paper ... ...ychedelics no longer shed light on the possibility of peace but instead the insanity of a social world. In conclusion It has become clear to me through studying theses texts that the counterculture movement of the 1960’s was one of great importance, without it we wouldn’t live in the society we do today and yet so many of the ideals and goals of the movement were not achieved. Western society is consumed by consumerism and the entrapments of everyday working life. There is still oppression and war rampant many countries: North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Uzbekistan, have been named as having the lowest standards for both political rights and civil liberties by political watchdog organisations such as Freedom House. Although it seems that we have come a long way, I am not entirely convinced that the counterculture movement was a success.

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