Isn’t This a Time! A Tribute to Harold Leventhal
Directed by Jim Brown
On November 29, 2003, thousands of people descended at New York’s Carnegie Hall for a Thanksgiving weekend concert in a tribute to music impresario, Harold Leventhal. The event sold out before advertising ever hit the press. For the past 50 years, Leventhal managed the leading icons of folk music and so many of them performed at this memorable concert, including Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul, and Mary, the Weavers, Ronnie Gilbert, Theodore Bikel, and Leon Bibb. Between the songs that helped define contemporary American culture, Leventhal appears and expresses the vision that motivated him and the artists he represented.
This man, whose parents were Orthodox Jewish immigrants, grew up impoverished during the Depression on the Lower East Side. He developed a passionate commitment to social justice, expressed in the political activism of the American Left. Leventhal built an audience hungry for music that reflected progressive social values—an audience that he nurtured during the most repressive years of the Cold War and the Blacklist. This heartlifting documentary perfectly captures that historic era and the musicians who made it so unforgettable. (Running time: 1:30).
“The movie electrified the theater; the audience sang along, clapped in rhythm and applauded each song as if it had been live.”
–Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun Times
“It’s a jamboree of good music and good feelings.”
–Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor
“Their voices and spirits remain clear and strong…You can be sure they’ll go to their graves singing out against the world’s wrongs.”
–Maitland McDonagh, Time Out NY
opens Friday, December 9, at the Quad Cinema.