Jim Klein, a student of the 1960s, returns to college to take an eye-opening look at the values and aspirations of college students, probing behind the stereotypes to ponder the forces that were changing the country and the campuses in the early 1990s. Set at Kent State, twenty years after four students were shot dead by National Guardsmen during an anti-war demonstration, the film uses that benchmark event to gauge the feelings of students in the 1990s about activism, ambition, success, racism, getting ahead and having a good time.
Letter to the Next Generation had its premiere at Kent State on May 4th, 1990 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the shootings there. On that same day, it opened at theaters in twelve cities. Over the next two months, the film played theatrically in more than 35 cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and San Francisco, receiving positive reviews in the New York Times (Canby), New York Post and Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Letter to the Next Generation was broadcast nationally on PBS in July, 1990.