In the 1960s, long before cellphone videos turned everyone into citizen journalists, a group of young idealists captured political and social upheaval on newly available portable video cameras. Their story is the focus of a new documentary and exhibition.
Long before cellphone videos turned everyone into citizen journalists…
A bunch of young idealists called the Video-freex captured political and social upheaval, on newly available portable video cameras.
It was the late sixties and they used their guerilla-style footage to offer alternative viewpoints to that of the mainstream media.
Now a documentary, ‘Here Come the Video-Freex’ has been released, charting their story.
The founders met while interviewing the crowds at Woodstock in 1969.
Then a short time later, they were recruited by CBS News, to cover the nations counter-culture movement.
Many issues were covered including abortion and the anti war protests of 1971, in which 10-thousand people were arrested including Davidson Gigliotti of the Videofreex
The Videofreex also interviewed Black Panther leader Fred Hampton shortly before his death in a police raid in 1969.
Jenny Raskin, who co-directed the film with Jon Nealon, lauded the group as pioneers.
They spent years restoring about a-hundred tapes, from more than a-thousand that were in varying states of disrepair.
Eventually CBS pulled the plug on the Video-freex.
And between 1971 and 178, they lived and worked on a farm in upstate New York, where they launched the nations first pirate TV station.
Along with the film, an exhibition called ‘Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television is showing at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York.