Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival

Director/Producer:Murray Lerner
Directors of Photography:Murray Lerner, Andy Carchrae, Jack Hazan, Nic Knowland, Norman Langley, Richard Stanley, Charles Stewart and Mike Whittaker
Editors:Einar Westerlund, Stan Warnow, Greg Sheldon and Howard Alk
Strand Releasing; NR; 128 minutes
With:Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Free, Taste, Tiny Tim, John Sebastian, Donovan, Ten Years After, the Doors, the Moody Blues, Kris Kristofferson, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Joan Baez and Jethro Tull

The 1970 Isle of Wight five-day festival was far from a love-in and marked, as the Altamont fiasco did on our shores, the end of the hippie dream. The festival showed the dark side of the music industry, from sleazy agents and musicians hustling to make a buck to the “peace-loving” fans tearing down metal gates to gain free entrance to the concert. (Why was anyone surprised Woodstock II had problems?) This revealing documentary does offer phenomenal music. Hendrix, the Who, Miles Davis and the Doors give intense, mesmerizing performances. It took Lerner 25 years to raise the money to release this film, and it was well worth his effort.