15 Dec DEADLINE: Watch Trailer For ‘What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat & Tears?’, Doc Acquired By Freestyle Digital Media That Probes Rock Mystery
EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media has acquired the Oscar-contending documentary What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat, & Tears?, a film that penetrates one of the greatest mysteries in rock ‘n’ roll history.
The company, the digital film distribution arm of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, will release the documentary on HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms in North America (as well as on DVD) on February 27, 2024. We have your exclusive first look at the film directed by John Scheinfeld in the trailer above.
In the late 1960s, Blood, Sweat & Tears became a pioneer of jazz rock and one of the most popular bands in the world, with hits like “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die,” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.” Then, in 1970, they embarked on a U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of Eastern Europe. It ended up destroying their reputation.
The film “reveals the incredible, never-before-told story of a ground-breaking rock band caught in the crosshairs between the Right and the Left in a politically polarized America, becoming an early victim of cancel culture,” according to a release about the acquisition. “This compelling story involves the State Department, the White House, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, three oppressive communist regimes, thousands of declassified government documents, and documentary footage suppressed for over 50 years.”
What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears was nominated as Best Music Documentary at the recent Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. It opened theatrically in March, including a three-week run at the Quad Cinema in New York City. Rolling Stone’s John Blistein hailed the film as “a fascinating look at a little-known chapter of rock history, offering fresh insights and facts while also conjuring perennial questions about propaganda, power and polarization.”
In a statement, Scheinfeld said, “Digging for the details of this powerful story, we spoke with both band members and Eastern European-based witnesses to the events, discovered pristine never-before-heard audio tapes of the band’s live performances in Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland, and uncovered thousands of declassified government documents buried in a university archive. These finds were remarkable in that they revealed details even the band members didn’t know.”
In the trailer, one of those BS&T band members exclaims, “We’re just musicians, man! We just went to play some music for people, and it turned into this huge political rat’s nest.”
Freestyle Digital Media describes the documentary as a “political thriller [that] blends international intrigue, social commentary and a mystery.” Watch the trailer above.