Enthralling Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune On DVD
Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune (First Run Features), a fascinating documentary by Kenneth Bowser on the short life of the folk singer/songwriter, is out now on DVD. Ochs, an intensely handsome protest singer who committed suicide in 1976, was responsible for many of the potent ballads of the 1960s, including I Ain't Marching Anymore, Draft Dodger's Rag, the satirical Love Me, I'm a Liberal and Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends. Ochs bounced around the New York Greenwich Village coffee shops and bars alongside prickly friend Bob Dylan and others with his guitar, raising his voice against injustice. The film charts his passionate output and genre-defining works, including the heavily orchestrated album Pleasures Of The Harbor, which was critically slammed but revealed his sweet genius. A fan of theatrical antics, Ochs was with the Yippies at the fateful Democratic Convention in 1968 and helped organized a "War Is Over" rally in Washington and New York at the height of the United States' involvement in Vietnam. The film also examines Ochs' tragic, final years in which he drifted into alcoholism and schizophrenia before taking his life when he was 36. His voice, however, just beautiful and soulful and tenderly ironic, is at the center of this lovely film.