Peter Whitehead and the Sixties (1967), Wholly Communion (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage


“Legendary filmmaker Peter Whitehead was at the heart of Swinging London, chronicling the youth explosion, the burgeoning popular music scene and the counterculture of the 1960s. In March the NFT hosted a comprehensive retrospective of his work. Now the BFI releases two of his films for the first time; Wholly Communion (1965) and Benefit of the Doubt (1967), coupled with a new interview with Peter and additional rare footage. With over three hours of material, Peter Whitehead and the Sixties is a fascinating document of the radical, experimental, literary and theatrical scenes of 60s London. On 11 June 1965, the Royal Albert Hall played host to a slew of American and European beat poets for an extraordinary impromptu event – the International Poetry Incarnation – that arguably marked the birth of London’s gestating counterculture. Cast in the role of historian, as a man-on-the-scene, and massively elevating his limited resources, Whitehead…

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