Tom Sinclair
June 13, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In this little-seen documentary about Britain’s 1970 Isle of Wight rock festival, director Murray Lerner skewers the myth of a united utopian counterculture, conveying with brutal objectivity the self-centered myopia of both the event’s promoters and the hippie hordes in attendance. With artists turning in performances ranging from lame (Tiny Tim, Kris Kristofferson) to fine (the Who, Miles Davis), Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival: The Movie is most valuable as a reminder that the love generation was capable of hateful behavior. Defining image: Joni Mitchell being hassled by an out-of-control freak while the final notes of her Aquarian anthem, ”Woodstock,” reverberate. A-

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