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MC5: A TRUE TESTIMONIAL

USA, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Mooks Backbeat)

Director: David C. Thomas

From the first thundering chord of Kick Out the Jams to the final frames recounting one of the most influential bands of the 60s/70s self-destructing in a blur of drink, drugs, record company machinations and police harassment, MC5: A True Testimonial is the first and finest account of the music of a band that prefigured garage rock, punk and grunge by years.

Their first release, a killer live concert, contained (later banned) liner notes where the MC5 implored the youth of America to embrace "rock and roll, dope and f**king in the streets". The band were reviled by parents, teachers, cops and government; they were declared a menace to the US way of life.

This astounding documentary presents every scrap of lost or unseen performance footage, hundreds of photographs, archival and new interviews with all members plus fans, friends and family—even some high quality FBI surveillance film of a monumental Chicago concert; it seems that even a couple of young Feds thought the MC5 rocked! They incited riots, had attempts made on their lives by undercover cops and changed the world. Now it's time to testify.

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