Sixties Doc: 'Radio Unnameable'


The new documentary film, Radio Unnameable , has been making the rounds of the film festival circuit in the last six months, and is playing now through October 2nd at the Film Forum in New York City. The movie, put together by Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson,  tells the story of New York City FM radio personality Bob Fass who has been palavering about music and politics for nearly five decades on WBAI-FM, the counter-cultural public radio station.

That includes plenty of air time devoted to the antiwar movement during the Vietnam War when—as A.O. Scott wrote in The New York Times Fass’s “broadcast became a hub of organizing as well as a source of firsthand news reporting.”

The doc tells the story of Fass—who is still on the air—using plenty of audio from his program, along with film, photographs, and video.

“Mr. Fass narrates old war (and antiwar) stories with vivid clarity and impeccable timing, and his accounts are fleshed out by a Greek chorus of friends, co-workers and fellow travelers, ” Scott said in his review.

“These include the singers Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie; Mr. Fass’s current and former wives; WBAI staff members: and pillars of countercultural mischief like Wavy Gravy, Ed Sanders and Paul Drassner. The case they make for Mr. Fass’s importance does not seem overstated.”

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