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Long Strange Trip


Emerging from the Bay Area’s vibrant 1960s counterculture, the Grateful Dead were a motley crew whose unique sound sprang from an eclectic blend of influences: bluegrass, folk ballads, R&B, free-form jazz, classical, and jug band. Put to the Acid Tests, they passed with flying colors, becoming one of rock and roll’s most unlikely success stories.

A band, an experience, a quasi religion, they were also a family—albeit a dysfunctional one. Through their unworldly musical connection they formed a “group mind,” one they shared with their enthusiastic tribe of fans throughout three decades of legendary concerts-cum-spiritual experiences.

Psychedelics aside, the Dead’s quintessential character is hard to place, but that’s exactly what Amir Bar-Lev explores in this passionate, all-encompassing look at the creative spirit behind the “band beyond description.” Drawing from an incredible trove of stills, film footage, audio recordings, and rare live tracks—much of which has never been seen or heard—Bar-Lev’s fresh, formally inventive approach paints the picture of a distinctly American band exploring visions of Americana through music.

YEAR 2016

SECTION Doc Premieres


RUN TIME 239 min

COMPANY Double E Pictures

EMAIL e.eisner@doubleepics.com


Executive Producers

Artist Bio

Amir Bar-Lev

Amir Bar-Lev’s directorial credits include Fighter (2001), My Kid Could Paint That (2007), the Emmy Award–winning The Tillman Story (2010), and Happy Valley (2014). Bar-Lev co-produced the documentary Trouble the Water, a 2008 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner and 2009 Academy Award nominee. Long Strange Trip is Bar-Lev’s fifth film to show at the Festival.