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Films about San Francisco and its Environs

Joan Baez, staple of San Francisco counterculture,...
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By Jeffrey M. Anderson | Special to The Examiner |

Oct 11, 2023 Updated 11 hrs ago

It seems like Joan Baez has always been here.

A folk singer who arrived on the scene at age 19 at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, followed by a 1960 debut album, Baez was a counterculture fixture and is now the subject of a fearless, revealing documentary, “Joan Baez: I Am a Noise,” which opens Friday in San Francisco theaters.

Yet she might also have been the figure who could get stuck in time.

Even her cohort Bob Dylan — with whom she had an intense and volatile relationship — had to reinvent himself over the decades to stay relevant. But Baez, a longtime staple of San Francisco and a current resident of San Mateo County, remained herself and, for six decades, has commanded a devoted audience.

Co-directed by Miri Navasky, Karen O’Connor, and Maeve O’Boyle, “Joan Baez: I Am a Noise” takes place on the occasion of Baez’s final tour, as the singer considers retiring.

The documentary captures her in a giving mood, fully ready to discuss her errors, faults, and victories.

Joan Baez, staple of San Francisco counterculture, debuts in new doc


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