Plot-From his early days as a poet and a comedian, to the formation of the famous Hog Farm commune, to his efforts at Woodstock, international travels and health charities, children’s camp..-The movie documents Wavy Gravy as he became an unlikely folk hero whose legend still goes on. Wavy Gravy we get the feeling up front..he never set out to change the world, he simply wanted to live the best life possible for both himself and everyone around him. And that included an openness and generosity of spirit that served the community and the world well. A wildly effective activist, he stands up for the principles he believes in. But instead of coming across as smart or a show off, he gets important messages across with humor and an almost insane sense of whimsy. It’s amazing how much well deserved respect this clown has garnered, but the documentary is loaded with famous people and a lot of supporters. From Jackson Browne to Bonnie Raitt, they share in candid interviews, the thoughts and feelings about him.
From poetry readings in Greenwich Village to a bus trip from England to Nepal by way of Afghanistan…from keeping the peace at Woodstock to his present-day mission raising funds for sight-saving operations in the Third World and co-directing a circus and performing arts camp… this entertaining and captivating film shines a fresh light on many of the seminal events of our time and reveals the deep determination of a truly one-of-a-kind individual.
Review-One cannot watch this film and not feel inspired. In the times we live now, it seems people forgot about humanity in their pursuit of greed and selfishness. That when someone comes along that has a message of peace or love, we as a society are fast to find fault or dismiss it. And that is sad, as shown in this film..there are people whose life is dedicated to creating a better place and also a sincere call for change. This is truly a film about someone who truly was in love so much with living. So much so, he wanted to make those around him and situations around him, have the same passion as well. Michelle Esrick’s “The Wavy Gravy Movie: Saint Misbehavin'” has so many positives and also a few negatives, that I want to address. At 87 minutes, I felt this film should have been shorter. That by the 87 minute mark, you almost get the point beaten into you that this person is the example that we all should be. It almost felt at times, that the director was pointing fingers instead of highlighting Wavy’s life. Now, I am not saying that the film did not highlight his achievements and his life in a positive light, it just felt at times the director was saying to us that if it was not for man, there would be no need for Wavy. Almost like a church saying if it was not for satan and sin, there would be no need for god. The woodstock stuff was cool. If Mother Teresa was a drug addict and was a side show attraction at the local circus, this would be her today. He shows us thru the film that laughter is more important than any pain or disease, or even any tragedy. That laughter is the one thing that can unite us. That point was not lost in this film. And that was the positive to this film, it could make even the most evil person, look inside himself for the meaning of life. From his hog farm headquarters to the places, he brought doctors, medicines, fun and music to remote villages and to huge hippie festivals.
In closing this review, I wanted to open up about something that hit me during this film. I have a 5 year old great neice. Since her birth she has been in every hospital hooked to every machine, and has had more needles in her than a old turntable on am radio. And, when you go to children’s hospitals and see all those kids in beds and in pain, how can you not cheer on someone like Wavy who no offense to our fighting men and women, is a hero as well. I have to say in all the documentaries I have seen this year, despite the few flaws..I have yet to be truly inspired like I was watching this….highly recommended…very feel good documentary.
9 out of 10