"Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune"
Nearly 20 years in the making, director Kenneth Bowser’s documentary is the first to chronicle the life and career of the beloved Sixties folk protest singer who hanged himself in 1976. The film—which includes rare footage of Ochs’ troubled later years as well as testimonials from admirers like Sean Penn (who once planned to play Ochs in a film) and Christopher Hitchens—has become a surprise art-house hit, expanding to over 70 cities since its January opening in New York. “For a generation, it’s the story of their time,” says Bowser. “But there are also kids who say, ‘My parents had his records in their collection, and who is this guy?’” Surprise last-minute funding came from promoter Michael Cohl, a longtime Ochs fan currently producing Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway.