As the lone American member of the celebrated late '60s, early '70s quintet The Band, Levon Helm brought the Southern soul to this much-mythologized outfit, which performed at Woodstock and graced the cover of Time magazine in 1970. However, the band's strongest personality was guitarist and chief songwriter Robbie Robertson, who secured most of the group's publishing royalties for himself. Decades later, Helm's bitterness has not abated and, as Jacob Hatley's film reveals, he won't consider reuniting with the surviving members of The Band when the Grammys come calling with a lifetime achievement award. Hatley, who studied at UNC-Chapel Hill and worked as a projectionist for local art houses, had close access to his subject, who died in 2012.. To produce the film, Hatley spent several years in close quarters with Helm at his home in Woodstock, N.Y., as he navigates his financial, health and musical issues with remarkably good cheer.
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By the time of The Band's third album, we learn in UNC-CH grad Jacob Hatley's absorbing, intimate documentary, it was falling apart. »
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