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“Long Strange Trip” is a movie that every Deadhead in the kozmic universe will want to see, and with good reason: At three hours and 58 minutes, it has the sprawl and generosity of a good Dead show, yet there’s nothing indulgent about it — it’s an ardent piece of documentary classicism. The film counts Martin Scorsese among its executive producers, and it was directed by Amir Bar-Lev (“The Tillman Story”), who works with the historical meticulousness a subject like this one deserves. Bar-Lev, who grew up in the Bay Area, uses the long-form running time to digress where he sees fit, but mostly he stays hooked to the center of his subject: how the Grateful Dead, after rising to prominence as an electric jam band in the late ’60s — the hippie minstrels of the Haight-Ashbury circus — took on a wriggling, effusive identity of their own that could be shaped and guided but never fully controlled.

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