MATT PLESS, A YOUNG FOLK SINGER, at a peace rally in lower Manhattan in Renegade Dreamers. Photo credit: Karen Kramer.

By John Gilman

58 years ago Bob Dylan wandered into the precincts of Greenwich Village and almost immediately sparked a major resurgence in folk music in coffeehouses and musical hotspots like Gerde’s Folk City and the Cafe Wha on MacDougal Street. A new film by Karen Kramer entitled Renegade Dreamers chronicles the activities of young artists and protest singers, musicians, and poets who are today carrying on the tradition of the radical folk singers of the 60s. In addition to vintage documentary appearances by Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Wavy Gravy, Tom Paxton, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, Maria Muldaur, and the Weavers, the film tells the stories of young people you haven’t yet heard of. Director Kramer, an award winning filmmaker (The Ballad of Greenwich Village) and longtime Village resident, says, “I’ve always been interested in those who step off the path prescribed for them, those who question authority and challenge the status quo. I have made a film that honors the Beat generation of the past who started it all, as well as providing a window into the artists of today who are carrying on that tradition. They made me realize that in light of what’s going on in our country now—if not the world—it’s more important than ever to question authority.” 

Renegade Dreamers, a new documentary by Karen Kramer, will be premiering at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, on Friday, May 31st and run until June 6. Several screenings will feature question and answer sessions with the filmmaker. (see for screening times and tickets.)

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