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Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
     

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

Director: Robert Stone, Russell Little, Mike Bortin, Timothy Findley

Cast: Robert Stone, Russell Little, Mike Bortin, Timothy Findley

 
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst is a documentary about the short-lived radical political group that caused a media frenzy in the early '70s. Filmmaker Robert Stone incorporates archival footage, news clips, and contemporary interviews with SLA founder Russ Little and member Mike Bortin. Most of the film focuses on their much-publicized act of domestic

Overview

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst is a documentary about the short-lived radical political group that caused a media frenzy in the early '70s. Filmmaker Robert Stone incorporates archival footage, news clips, and contemporary interviews with SLA founder Russ Little and member Mike Bortin. Most of the film focuses on their much-publicized act of domestic terrorism: the kidnapping of Patty Hearst in 1974. The group held the 19-year-old college student hostage, demanding that her father, William Randolph Hearst, give millions of dollars to the poor. Later, the girl was said to have joined the group on a crime spree throughout the West Coast. Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst was shown was shown at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival as part of the documentary competition (under the working title Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese LIberation Army), and later aired on the PBS documentary series American Experience.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richie Unterberger
The kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974 is one of those stories of which, it seems, no one will ever get to the bottom. This documentary doesn't get to the bottom of it either, at least in terms of answering the question of whether Hearst was brainwashed or committed crimes with the SLA of her own free will. It does, however, do a good job of going through the basics of this strange saga and detailing the motivations of the SLA, which are sometimes overlooked in favor of the human-interest story of a rich heiress getting abducted by radicals. Hearst herself (to little surprise) was not interviewed for this project, but the filmmakers did speak with several important figures involved with the case, most notably SLA members Russ Little (who was imprisoned at the time Hearst was kidnapped) and Mike Bortin. Some important aspects that emerge are the SLA's noble goals -- they were founded, in part, as a result of some radicals' interactions with incarcerated African-Americans -- even if almost anyone would agree the violence they undertook to further their cause was inexcusable (and very foolishly planned). There's also a good mixture of decades-after-the-fact talking-head interviews with vintage footage of news coverage of the kidnapping, the crimes they committed, and the police's hunt (and sometimes killing) of the perpetrators. Some of the directorial devices border on the annoyingly artsy: the insertions of footage from an old movie about Robin Hood in particular are unnecessarily blatant and jarring. Yet some of the scenes are downright chilling, particularly the juxtaposition of Bortin's claims (in his interview) to not even care about who committed a certain SLA-instigated murder with slightly later footage of him being sentenced to prison for his role in that exact same shooting.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/27/2005
UPC:
0767685973837
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Video Group
Time:
1:29:00

Special Features

Commentary with director Robert Stone; Audio exclusive: The Patty Hearst Tapes; Exclusive footage: Hibemia Bank Robbery; Deleted scenes: Sacramento courthouse; Theatrical trailer; Filmmaker biography; Photo gallery; Dolby digital 5.1 Surround; 16:9 Widescreen format; Interactive menus; Scene selection

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Russell Little Interviewee
Mike Bortin Interviewee
Timothy Findley Interviewee
John Lester Interviewee
Dan Grove Interviewee
Ludlow Kramer Interviewee

Technical Credits
Robert Stone Director,Cinematographer,Producer
Coll Anderson Sound Editor,Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Fraser Executive Producer
Leslie Jirsa Production Manager
Don Kleszy Co-producer,Editor
Gary Lionelli Score Composer,Editor
Richard Neill Cinematographer
Mark Samels Executive Producer
Howard Shack Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
1. A Whole New World [6:33]
2. State of Siege [7:50]
3. Killing in the Night [5:44]
4. The Kidnapping [7:01]
5. Ransom Demand [8:08]
6. Prisoner of War [8:09]
7. Stockholm Syndrome [8:00]
8. Bonnie and Clyde [14:45]
9. Out of the Ashes [7:50]
10. Nothing to Be Gained [:00]
11. A Perfect Life [7:35]
12. Credits [5:10]
13. Chapter 13 [2:27]

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