‘Peace, love and rage’ HBO documentary to debut at Cinema Capitol on Friday

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The Cinema Capitol, 230 W. Dominick St., will host a free showing of the HBO documentary “WOODSTOCK 99: PEACE, LOVE, AND RAGE,” on Friday. The film, which coincides with the 22nd anniversary of the festival, will debut from 9 to 10:50 p.m. on both HBO and at Cinema Capitol.

The film will be screened with no admission charge; however, a ticket is required. For ticketing information, go to www.RomeCapitol.com.

“We are screening this film in an arrangement with HBO,” cinema manager Jon Matwijec-Walda comments. “HBO has been in the area over the past year conducting interviews with several local people including Sen. (Joseph A.) Griffo. The film will also feature footage from Capitol Arts Complex Marketing Manager Rick E. Lewis.”

Daily Sentinel Owner/Board Chair Stephen B. Waters, who served as publisher at the time, shared that HBO purchased about 15 minutes of the 10 hours of video he shot of the musical festival to be used as short clips in the documentary.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. with a pre-movie reception featuring Copper City Brewing, entertainment and Woodstock trivia, according to the Cinema Capitol announcement.   

Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage is directed by Garret Price and executive produced by Bill Simmons. According to HBO, it tells the story of Woodstock 99, the three-day music festival promoted to echo unity and counterculture idealism of the original 1969 concert but instead devolved into riots, looting and sexual assaults.

The grim outcome, HBO says, earned the event the infamous distinction of “the day the ‘90s died.”

The documentary, HBO adds, “focuses a spotlight on American youth at the end of the millennium, in the shadow of Columbine and the looming hysteria of Y2K, pinpointing a moment in time when the angst of a generation galvanized into a seismic, cultural shift. Set to a soundtrack of the era’s most aggressive rock bands, the film also reappraises the 1960s mythos, revealing hard truths about the dangers of rose-tinted nostalgia in the age of commercialism and bottom-line profits.”

For the documentary, filmmakers interviewed artists who performed at the event which was held on July 22-25, 1999, with two massive stages at opposite ends of the runway at the former Griffiss Air Force Base. Prior to the concert, event promoters were determined to avoid the gate-crashing that had occurred at previous festivals, constructing a plywood and steel fence around the perimeter to keep out those without tickets with about 500 state troopers hired for additional security. The city of Rome, including the downtown and Black River Boulevard areas, became a draw for concertgoers, who filled bars, restaurants, stores and hotels.

The documentary, the trailer says, shows footage of the actual festival and depicts an atmosphere of “dark energy” created by intense performances and societal rage.

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