The Weather Underground

( 1 )

Overview

Sam Green and Bill Siegel's documentary about a radical group whose stated goal was the violent overthrow of the U.S. government details a valuable chapter in the history of the '60s protest movement and leftism in America. The Weathermen were a faction of Students for a Democratic Society SDS, one of the driving forces behind the period's mass protests against social injustice and the Vietnam War. Frustrated by SDS's adherence to non-violent dissent, the Weathermen broke off and adopted a more combative ...
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Overview

Sam Green and Bill Siegel's documentary about a radical group whose stated goal was the violent overthrow of the U.S. government details a valuable chapter in the history of the '60s protest movement and leftism in America. The Weathermen were a faction of Students for a Democratic Society SDS, one of the driving forces behind the period's mass protests against social injustice and the Vietnam War. Frustrated by SDS's adherence to non-violent dissent, the Weathermen broke off and adopted a more combative approach. As the student protests ebbed in the 1970s, the group went underground and shifted tactics, embarking on a terrorist campaign against the U.S. government. For years, the Weather Underground evaded the authorities' grasp, even as it pulled off high-profile bombings against government targets. Their momentum petered out in the 1980s, as one by one the organization's members surrendered after years on the run. The Weather Underground uses extensive archival footage and revealing interviews with the surviving members to trace the group's evolution and place their actions in the context of the period's tumultuous events. ~ Elbert Ventura
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Sam Green and Bill Siegel's The Weather Underground attempts to cover an awful lot of ground in 90 minutes: tracking the rise of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) from a non-violent civil rights group to America's largest radical leftist organization; explaining how a militant wing of the group first took control of the SDS and then splintered into a violent, revolutionary faction called The Weathermen; chronicling the group's declaration of war against the American government (and later the American people) as they attempted to "bring the war home" through a series of violent actions; and how the revolutionaries learned to "hide in plain sight" until most of them independently made the decision to give themselves up. That it does so as well as it does is remarkable, and if the film is flawed, it's in what isn't there rather than what is. For example, it seems odd that there's not a single mention of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where the aggressive side of the Left met one of their most bitter defeats at the hands of the police; and while a handful of former Weathermen speak of their years underground, most are cautiously hesitant to discuss the details of their lives in hiding or how they worked with other radical groups, which isn't difficult to understand, but still leaves a significant chunk of this story untold. Also, while one FBI agent goes on record to discuss how the bureau tracked the Weathermen's activities, we learn little of the covert actions of COINTELPRO, the notorious FBI task force created to ferret out political dissidents. (Its ruthless disregard for due process and the Bill of Rights eventually caused most of the court cases against the repentant Weathermen to be thrown out of court.) As a complete overview of one of the most fascinating and troubling chapters in the political history of Vietnam-era America, The Weather Underground misses the mark, but as an introduction, it's compelling and thought-provoking stuff. Green and Siegel allow their subjects to explain themselves and their actions with little interference and the various degrees of their three-decade hindsight is itself one of the most fascinating aspects of the film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/25/2004
  • UPC: 767685563038
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Video Group
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bernardine Dohrn Participant
Mark Rudd Participant
Brian Flanagan Participant
David Gilbert Participant
David Gilbert Participant
Bill Ayers Participant
Naomi Jaffe Participant
Todd Gitlin Participant
Laura Whitehorn Participant
Don Strickland Participant
Kathleen Cleaver Participant
Lili Taylor Voice Only
Pamela Z. Voice Only
Technical Credits
Sam Green Director, Editor, Producer
Bill Siegel Director, Producer
Andrew Black Cinematographer
Dave Cerf Score Composer
Amy Domingues Score Composer
Christian Ettinger Executive Producer
Mary Harron Executive Producer
Dawn Logsdon Editor
Carrie Lozano Producer
Sue Ellen McCann Executive Producer
Federico Salsano Cinematographer
Marc Smolowitz Producer
David Westby Sound/Sound Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Gripping Documentary!

    I highly recommend this documentary, even if you don't like documentaries. A very elegent and tastefully documented tale of a brutal time in U.S. history when citizens began to revolt against 'Big-Brother' controlling and killing many innocent lives at home and abroad. Shows true compassion and remorse for those warriors in the 60's and 70's who first began to stand up and fight back for the working middle-class being sacraficed in Vietnam. A very wonderful film!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews