My Generation is a documentary that examines the three Woodstock concerts (1969, 1994, and 1999) and the generations attending them. The majority of the film is focused on the development and execution of the 1994 25th anninversary concert, in comparison with the original 1969 event. Some of the best footage in the film shows the organisers justifying and even getting excited about the corporate sponsorship deals with the likes of Pepsi Cola, seemingly clueless to the irony and hypocrisy of commercialising Woodstock. The film mainly seeks to show generational characteristics through footage and interviews of attendees and performers at each concert, and it does quite a good job. Without the cause of the Vietnam war to unite the revellers in a sense of political purpose, the generation X-ers of 1994 show tangible anger and frustration at the world without having anywhere to direct it. It is interesting to see the mix of awe and resentment that the X-ers have for the hippie generation, at once returning to Woodstock in search of the mythologised sense of community belonging, and claiming it as their own because they are sick of hearing how great the first one was. While comparing the naive optimism of the 60s generation to the jaded apathy of the 90s youth in not exactly groundbreaking, the material is well handled and obviously appropriate to the context, and the film does try to also show intergenerational similarities inherent in youth culture, despite the stereotypes. The 1999 concert stuff seems a bit tacked on, and undermines the tight focus of the rest of the film, but is quite interesting in what it reveals about the emerging generation of youth. Woodstock '99 was characterised by two totally opposite movements æ one of political awareness of corporate monopolies, which led to riotous behaviour of overthrowing concession stands and disseminating freely the $4 bottles of water, and the other of frightening disrespect for women, which led to several sexual assaults and rapes in the mosh pit. Neither of these movements fits into the boomer/X-er dichotomy established earlier in the film, but nonetheless shows the continuing evolution of youth culture.
Published Sep 01, 2000