The NY Times Critic's Pick

Available on Digital

Made when she was just 18 years old, Barbara Rubin’s art-porn masterpiece Christmas On Earth (1963-65) shocked NYC’s experimental film scene and inspired NYC’s thriving underground. For the next four years her filmmaking and irrepressible energy helped shatter artistic and sexist boundaries. A mythical “Zelig” of the sixties, she introduced Andy Warhol to the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan to the Kabbalah. But beyond shaping the spirit of the sixties, Barbara was seeking the deeper meaning of life. After retiring to a farm with Allen Ginsberg, she shocked everyone by converting to Hasidic Judaism, marrying and moving to France to live an anonymous life. Tragically, she died in 1980 after giving birth to her fifth child.  For years, Jonas Mekas treasured all of Barbara’s letters and films and cherished her memory. Working with Mekas’ footage, the film takes us inside the world and mind of Barbara Rubin; a woman who truly believed that film could change the world.

An Overlooked Filmmaker Gets Her Due
“Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground,” an informative and overdue documentary...
An evocative portrait of a vibrant and mysterious artist.
It’s a riveting tale of an extraordinary, seemingly uncontrollable force, a supremely talented woman dealing with mental illness, a central figure in an artistic movement who was gone too soon.
The Queens teen who inspired Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan and an entire artistic movement.

The New York Post

...pound for pound, minute for minute, there are few biographical documentaries more impressive than this.
A fascinating portrait of a "larger than life" filmmaker and collaborator.


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Director: Chuck Smith
Executive Producer: Chuck Smith, Elizabeth Sheldon
Cinematographer: Andy Bowley
Editor: Chuck Smith
Music: Lee Ranaldo
Running Time: 78
Language: English
Country: USA
Year: 2018


Toronto, Canada
May 2, 4, 5, 2018

New York, NY
November 8-15, 2018

Rotterdam International Film Festival
Rotterdam, Netherlands
January 28, 29 and 31, 2019

Cinema Svetozor
Prague, Czech Republic

February 25, 2019

Pordenone, Italy
April, 2019

Buenos Aires, Argentina
April 4, 12 and 14, 2019

Jacob Burns Fim Center
Pleasantville, NY
May 5, 2019

JxJ, Washington Jewish Film Festival
Washington, DC
May 8-26, 2019

New York, NY
May 24-June 6, 2019

Seattle International Film Festival
Seattle, WA
Tuesday May 21 8:30 PM SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater
Wednesday June 5 9:30 PM SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater

San Francisco, CA
June 12-18, 2019

Laemmle Music Hall 
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-20, 2019

Laemmle Royal
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-18, 2019

Laemmle Playhouse 7
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-18, 2019

Laemmle Town Center 5
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-18, 2019

Laemmle Claremont 5
Los Angeles, CA
June 14-18,  2019

Gene Siskel Film Center
Chicago, IL
July 26-August 1, 2019
Cleveland Cinematheque
Cleveland Institute of Art 

Cleveland, OH
August 4, 2019
Austin Film Society
Austin, TX
August 18 and 21, 2019
Jewish International Film Festival
Melbourne, Australia
Date: TBD October 2019
Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival
Florence, Italy
Date: TBD November 2019
Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival
Venice, Italy
Date: TBD April 2020
SEOUL International Women's Film Festival
Seul, Korea
August 29 - September 5, 2019
Danish Film Institute
Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: TBD (October/November)
Wexner Center for the Arts
Columbus, OH
September 18, 2019