Discovering “The Quiet Beatle”

Growing up, I never particularly had a favorite Beatle. If you had to ask me which one was my favorite, I’d probably have responded with either Paul or John. I mean, how could I not? They were definitely the main songwriters and the main visionaries behind The Beatles. However, after watching Martin Scorcese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World, a three-hour documentary on “The Quiet One” who gained everything from The Beatles, yet strived for contentment spiritually all his life.

One of the best aspects that this film is that it does not focus too much on George’s Beatle days. Sure, it paints it with a broad enough stroke to portray how George became a Beatle and how the band shaped him, but it does not spend too much time on it.  It isn’t as much about who George was during his Beatle days, but about who he was after them. George’s rapid rise to fame and fortune with The Beatles are part of his story, but it is just the spark that fueled his successful solo career, and his lifelong search for spiritual contentment. George’s story is so rich and fruitful that merely covering his Beatle days, like most documentaries on the four them do, would be a shame.

Scorcese includes personal interviews with George’s wife, Paul, Ringo, Eric Clapton, and more of his closest confidents while stringing them together with never-before-seen Harrison family movies and famous clips of the singer that we know and love today. The emotion behind every interview is piercing, with tears being shed by multiple interviewees as they discuss George and what he meant to them. Scorcese illuminates the post-Beatle era of George’s life better than ever before. Through George Harrison: Living in the Material World, we can finally get to know “The Quiet One”


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