CSNY Déjà Vu

Director: Bernard Shakey
Screenwriters: Mike Cerre, Neil Young

Institute History


If you grew up, as I did, with your dorm room full of albums by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and antiwar activities as part of your daily agenda, you may approach the Freedom of Speech Tour with preconceptions about its motivations and content based on the band you remember. Although the chronicle of that tour, CSNY Déjà Vu, is indeed a look back at the politics and anti–Vietnam War sentiment, its real value lies in its rejection of simple nostalgia and its ability to focus on the present day.

As both a portrait of a band and an examination of artistic process, CSNY Déjà Vu is filmmaking that is self-centered, yet fresh and critical. Today’s generation must be as tired of hearing about the ’60s as we were of an earlier era, and this depiction of the tour is anything but preaching to the converted. Part performance, part commentary, and very much a call for activism, CSNY Déjà Vu is relevant because we ignore the lessons of history at our peril.

Featuring music from Neil Young’s controversial CD, this evocative and edgy film documents reactions from fans to a band that has remained committed to issues of politics and art for more than four decades. Since history seems to repeat itself, perhaps our artists best illustrate what we need to remember.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details


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