Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Second Time Around 

Wednesday, Dec 9 1998
Free Tibet
Sarah Pirozek's rockumentary record of a 1996 benefit concert in Golden Gate Park is half musical event, half argument against the Chinese suppression of Tibet as made by monks, crusaders, and (alas) guest rock stars. The disjunction between the serious nature of Chinese atrocities on the one hand, and the carnival nature of the concert on the other, is something Pirozek is aware of and tries to bridge with a conscious acknowledgement of the gap. She leaves in, with a sigh, footage of happy teen-agers yelling "Free Tibet!" without any evident clue as to what they're shouting about. The incessant gum-chewing of Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boy who helped organize the affair, is also chronicled in detail. MTV-style edited footage of the Chinese army, mixed with some well-spoken exiles and activists, helps complete the picture. The rest is concert footage, some of it amusing. Bjsrk hops around like an agitated kewpie doll while Beck turns out to resemble a wizened Dana Carvey. The hearts of these "dumb rock stars" -- as one of them calls himself -- are in the right place, and so is this film's.

-- Gregg Rickman

Free Tibet screens Friday through Thursday, Dec. 11-17, at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. (also Saturday and Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m.), at the Red Vic, 1727 Haight (at Clayton), S.F. Admission is $6; call 668-3994.

About The Author

Gregg Rickman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"