Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
Bob Dylan, or at least the idea of him, is the lurking, mocking background chorus in this beautiful, bittersweet look at postwar America’s foremost agitprop singer/songwriter. For all that Phil Ochs could have achieved in his lauded but still overshadowed career, there stands Dylan, the one who came up through the same West Village coffeehouse folk scene but who had no problem jettisoning its politics once he realized that greater commercial reward was there for the taking without the encumbrance of protest. As Christopher Hitchens points out in the film, there was a difference between those who liked Dylan and those who even knew about Ochs — anybody could be into Dylan, Ochs’s songs were for those who cared…
Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune is playing now in limited release; check it out. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.