MVD Entertainment Group announced this past week that Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Jim Brown’s Free to Rock, a ten-years-in-the-making look at the effects of rock ‘n roll music on the erosion and eventual downfall of the Soviet Union, will be available on Friday, Nov. 3 as a double-disc DVD release.
During the Cold War all of the eastern European countries — Poland, Hungary, East Germany, etc. — as well as the Soviet Union, were cut-off from Western music (you know, Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc.) and the youth-corrupting music influences that were spawned from such tunes. Well, at least that was the plan, but it didn’t exactly work out that way.
Brown, whose music-themed documentaries include Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time and Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin', knows his subject well and is able to document underground rock groups — Flowers, Kino, and Plastic People of the Universe — who were influence by music trends in the West.
In the end, beside freedom, those under the thumb of the communists wanted blue jeans, washing machines and their rock ‘n roll music and one way or another those walls were going to come down!
Free to Rock in a nifty blend of period interviews — Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, etc, — and vintage performances from the period!
As a bonus, MVD Entertainment Group is including a second disc which features the feature-length behind-the-scenes presentation of Rockin’ The Kremlin: Outtakes & Original Stories Behind the Making of Free To Rock.