Gimme Shelter is a 1970 documentary film directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, chronicling the last weeks of The Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour, which culminated in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert. The film is named after "Gimme Shelter", the lead track from The Rolling Stones' 1969 album Let It Bleed. The film was screened at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition.
The documentary is associated with the Direct Cinema movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The Maysles Brothers, who directed it, are strong figures of the era. The movement revolves around the philosophy of being a "reactive" filmmaker. Rather than investigating a subject matter through such documentary techniques as interviews, reconstruction and voiceover, direct cinema simply records events as they unfold naturally and spontaneously — like a fly on the wall.
The film depicts some of the Madison Square Garden concert, later featured on the live album, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert, as well as the photography session for the cover, featuring Charlie Watts and a donkey. It also shows the Stones at work in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, recording...