‘Woodstock’ Film Review: Anniversary Doc Takes Boomers on an Evocative Trip Down Memory Lane

How do you follow one of the most critically acclaimed rock docs of all time? Michael Wadleigh’s seminal 1970 documentary “Woodstock ” was immersive and electric, a definitive, you-are-there experience rather than a here’s-what-happened chronicle.

Despite its ambitious title, “Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation” is a here’s-what happened chronicle. There’s nothing wrong with that; most documentaries fit a similar category. And this one — which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and opens theatrically in May — was made for PBS’ “American Experience” series to mark the event of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. So even if it never steps out of the shadow of its powerful predecessor, its relatively smaller scale is perhaps inevitable.

But let’s start by taking it on its own terms. Director Barak Goodman (“Oklahoma City”) brings us back to 1967, when buds John Roberts and Joel Rosenman have the wild idea to throw a really groovy party.

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