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Gimme50 – Presented by Maysles Documentary Center


On the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Gimme Shelter, Maysles Documentary Center (MDC) will present a series of films from the era that contextualize the violence at Altamont, streaming on demand December 6-31.  MDC has offered a special 20% off discount code (code: SHAC) for the full pass just for Southampton Arts Center patrons.

Click HERE to reserve your discounted pass with Code SHAC!

Films can also be streamed individually for as little as $5. Click HERE for a full schedule.

This special series will help support MDC’s operation as a not-for-profit space for documentary exhibition and education in Harlem and includes an exclusive Gimme 50 panel discussion with Racquel Gates, Sasha-Frere Jones and Yasmina Price on December 19th.

#Gimme50 #MayslesRockumentaryCenter #SupportLocalCinema


In 1969 filmmaker brothers Albert and David Maysles set out to shoot a series of concerts by The Rolling Stones that culminated in their capturing one of the era’s most defining and consequential moments- the killing of a young Black man named Meredith Hunter by a Hells Angel during a free show at the Altamont Speedway in Tracy, California. GIMME SHELTER, the resulting film co-directed with Charlotte Zwerin, was released on December 6, 1970, and has since become a seminal cultural artifact in its own right. Epitomizing both the time period and the controversial immediacy of “direct cinema”- an observational style of filmmaking pioneered by the Maysles and Zwerin along with Robert Drew, D.A. Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman- it is arguably the most celebrated concert documentary in cinematic history.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the release of GIMME SHELTER, Maysles Documentary Center presents a series of films from the late 60’s and early 70’s that underscore the political, social, and cultural currents of the music and events depicted in the film. While popular culture has enshrined the Altamont incident as the end of the halcyon decade of love, Gimme 50 challenges this assertion by highlighting the context out of which this violence arose with a selection of contemporaneous works that emphasize and expand upon the Maysles’ indelible achievement.

Half a century later and side by side, these films trace the fissures of Altamont to a vast and decade-defining web of subcultural gatherings- of revelers, rioters, demonstrators, and artists- many of which converged at this final concert of the Stones’ 1969 US Tour. Together, they posit the Altamont murder not as an end to 60s culture, and not as an isolated incident of violence against Black people, but as a constant, inevitable, and systematic outcome of a decade marked by targeted political repression at home and war abroad.

Featuring a Pan-African celebration by William Greaves (THE FIRST WORLD FESTIVAL OF NEGRO ARTS), a spotlight on the blues music that fed The Stones’ sound (BLACK ROOTS), the interplay between the Civil Rights Movement (INTEGRATION REPORT 1, THE MARCH) and the Black Power movement’s militant response to its failures (PUPPET SHOW, MAYDAY), alongside other treasures of the era this time capsule of alleged innocence and righteous indignation illuminates the racial violence depicted in GIMME SHELTER as a predictable marker of the period.

Curated by Inney Prakash

Maysles Documentary Center (MDC) is a Harlem-based not-for-profit organization, committed to community, education, and documentary film. They use filmmaking to amplify and expand under-represented artists and narratives, while empowering young filmmakers in creative self-expression, communicating ideas, and advocating needs.

History & Mission

MDC was established in 2005 by award-winning filmmaker Albert Maysles (1926-2015) who, along with his brother David, is known for developing “Direct Cinema” in the 1960s. The Maysles brothers defied documentary conventions by capturing life as it unfolded before the camera, without scripts, sets, or narration. Albert Maysles’s philosophy was one of collaboration, naturalistic environments, and empathetic relationships with his participants.

Albert Maysles’ film philosophy is central to our education and cinema programming, as filmmaking is not treated as an end in itself, but as a vehicle through which people learn to uplift their own narratives and engage critically with issues impacting their communities. In engaging with both social issues and the documentary form, we can represent a wider range of perspectives, hold space for meaningful dialogue, and activate film in the struggle for a more equitable world.





Maysles Documentary Center
(646) 853-1296
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EARTH – Artists as Activists

Saturday Apr 17 - Sunday Jul 11

Curated by Amy Kirwin Program Partners include Drawdown East End, Peconic Land Trust, South Fork Natural History Museum, Oceana and the Peter Matthiessen Center. This timely exhibition features artists who use their talents to focus on environmental conservation and activism, whether through fine art, science, photography, film, music, prose or other forms of artistic expression. The vision for eARTh is to use art to creatively confront the alarming state of our precious planet and its inhabitants in a way that all can understand and appreciate. The intention of eARTh is to ask questions and inspire action. What can you do to make a difference? Artists include Roisin Bateman, Kristian Brevik, Scott Bluedorn, Megan Chaskey, Erica Cirino, Rossa Cole, Janet Culbertson, Thomas Deininger, Alejandro Duran, Jim Gingerich, Mamoun Friedrich Grosvenor, John Haigney, Kara Hoblin, Michael Light, Pamela Longobardi, Christa Maiwald, Tucker Marder, Janine Martel, Steve Miller, Patricia Paladines, Aurora Robson, Cindy Pease Roe, Lauren Ruiz, Jonathan Shlafer, Anne Sherwood Pundyk, Anne Seelbach, Kathryn Szoka, and Diane Tuft, plus a special project by the members of the South Fork Natural History Museum’s Young Environmentalists program. Image: Alejandro Duran; Vena, 2011