A Retrospective

Amos Lassen

This documentary film, “Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives” was originally broadcast on PBS’s “American Masters” series. It is a brilliant example of how filmmakers, in this case Jim Brown, can shed light on history and people overlooked by the mainstream. I remember reaching adulthood to the songs of Holly Near, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez and Judy Collins but in recent years, they are not listened to nearly as much. This film concentrates on Near and  cements her central place in recent American history as both musical artist and activist.

Near has been a major player in crucial movements such as the Peace Movement, Women’s Rights, LGBT and even indie music. She was one of the originals whose record company Redwood Records has become a model for self-distribution.

Famous women like Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda are interviewed to properly give Near’s role as a progressive work and we see her winning personality, great empathy and terrific musical ability. This retrospective brings us into focus at a time when her songs are so needed. Her anthems for social justice still resonate today.

We have new Interviews with Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Ronnie Gilbert and Kevin Bacon in addition to performances and interviews, there are an additional 8 Minutes Not Seen on the Original American Masters® Broadcast.

Holly Near has been performing for well over 50 years and in the process she created what Gloria Steinem called, “the first soundtrack of the women’s movement.” The film documents the story of the activist and her art. Her anthems call for women’s rights, gay rights, anti-war protests and all human rights; her music speaks directly to the world’s young political activists of today and it is “an important testament to a time-a time of protest and coalition building, and the weaving of a multicultural consciousness always rooted in contemporary activism.” 


  • Over 30 minutes of additional interviews
  • Live performances of “One Good Song” and “Somebody’s Jail”

About Omnibus Entertainment/Film Movement

Omnibus Entertainment is the genre imprint for Film Movement, a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. Since 2002, it has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide.  Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com. Visit www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, the new subscription streaming service from Film Movement.

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