Grateful Dawg | Chicago Reader

Grateful Dawg

Sketching a history of collaboration between Jerry Garcia and mandolinist David Grisman, filmmaker Gillian Grisman—David's daughter—divides her documentary into sections covering several projects. Deftly weaving clips from interviews with family, friends, and colleagues into extensive performance footage without disrupting it, she presents, with a sense of humor, the apparent contradictions of a complex personality: Garcia is described alternately as a hard worker, as someone who couldn't be expected to turn up for scheduled jam sessions, and as an obsessive perfectionist. Though Grisman probably has more screen time, he recedes as this portrait of a duo becomes a eulogy for his partner. 81 min.


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