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Rated NR

Biography, Documentary, Musical
This is a sad and cautionary documentary about the life of Townes Van Zandt, borderline country star, absentee father and avid drug user. From Van Zandt’s happy childhood in an upper-middle-class family, through his experiments in brain dissolution, to his devastating shock-therapy treatments, and on through a career as a successful songwriter, Van Zandt’s life is something of a testament to the American spirit, whatever the hell that is. Director Margaret Brown mixes stock footage with contemporary interviews and dreamy montage sequences to neatly convey the feel of a man who could lay down some decent music when he wasn’t so high he was bumping his head against satellites.

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