Synopsis by Mark Deming
Woody Guthrie was a singer and songwriter who came of age in Oklahoma as the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression all but destroyed the homes and lives of many of those around him. A natural wordsmith who loved music, Guthrie turned the stories he saw all around him into songs -- some funny, some deadly serious, and nearly all dealing with his vision of a better and more just America. Guthrie roamed the country much of his life, performing with the left-wing Almanac Singers, writing a column for the Daily Worker, publishing a wildly entertaining autobiography called Bound for Glory, working as merchant seaman, and raising a family in between. A handful of the 3,000 songs Guthrie wrote have become standards (most notably "This Land Is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," "Deportees," and "Grand Coulee Dam"), and it's all but impossible to imagine the work of Bob Dylan or the rebirth of folk music in the '50s and '60s without his guiding influence. Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists is a documentary which offers an honest and unblinking look at Guthrie's life and career, featuring interviews with friends, fans, and historians who offer insight into his music and the man behind it. Billy Bragg narrates.
folk-singer, folk-music, Great-Depression, influence, singer, songs, songwriter