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The Camden 28

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

83 minutes, color & b/w, 2007

DVD Bonus Features:
* Multiple Interviews * Bonus Archival Footage * The Camden 28 Reunion * Essay from Human Rights Watch * Essay from Howard Zinn * Filmmaker Biography* And More
Summer, 1971. Protests against the Vietnam war are spreading across America. In Camden, New Jersey, a group of 28 activists, mostly conscientious objectors from the Catholic left, plan to break into a local draft board office and destroy records - striking a blow against the system. But little do they know a mole has infiltrated their operation...and within hours of beginning their mission they are rounded up and arrested by the FBI, under the personal authority of J. Edgar Hoover.
Featuring a treasure trove of archival materials as well as current interviews with members of the Camden 28, scholars such as Howard Zinn, and a former FBI agent involved in the case, this award-winning documentary uncovers a story of potent dissent - one that has special relevance in our current political climate.

Review

"However galvanic the present seems for moviemakers, history brings out the best in documentaries... it's easy to be seduced by The Camden 28 -- an inspiration!" --- Village Voice

"The unspoken parallels between Iraq and Vietnam and the antiwar movements then and now are illustrated by this poignant documentary." --- The New York Times

Special Features

  • Multiple interviews
  • Bonus archival footage
  • The Camden 28 reunion
  • Essay from Howard Zinn
  • Filmmaker biography

Product Details

  • Actors: Howard Zinn
  • Directors: Anthony Giacchino
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SAGGM8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,994 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Camden 28" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "Rocky Raccoon" VINE VOICE on September 20, 2007
Format: DVD
During childhood The Vietnam War made a big impression on me. It was easy to see the controversy in simple terms. I remember reading posters and lapel buttons. One poster read, "War is not healthy for children or other living things," yet my childhood recollections were innocent for "Make love, not war." On the other side, I saw bumper stickers exhorting us all to pray for or support our M.I.A.'s and P.O.W.'s.

`The Camden 28' would have been too specific and complicated for me to understand, so it is with greater appreciation I embrace this documentary as an adult. To be brief, twenty-eight people, mostly consisting of devout Catholics, including two priests, but a few Protestants as well, joined together to plan to infiltrate a government facility in Camden, NJ to steal draft records and burn them as their opposition to the Vietnam War. Usually the Catholic Church frowns on disobeying secular authority, but these 28 did so with conviction and at great risk.

Clocking in at less than an hour and a half, the film has recent interviews with some of the key participants. Their memories are sharply honed for detail, and there's plenty of news and "home movie" footage to back up their accounts. 'The Camden 28' squares solidly on the titled participants side, but it also features interviews by the key prosecuting and defense attorneys, giving their take on the whole affair. While I enjoyed their testimony, I also found the amount of material they used and the scope of their focus uses good judgment. Wisely, they spend a little time showing footage of the war, but they also provide newspaper clippings and news conferences documenting how the FBI was on their trail from the beginning of their plan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on May 11, 2008
Format: DVD
On August 22, 1971, a group of Vietnam War protesters broke into the draft board offices in Camden, New Jersey, with the intention of destroying files and bringing the selective service process to a halt in that city. Yet, these were not your stereotypical '60's radicals bent on subverting the government and tearing down the establishment. Rather, they were thoughtful, deeply religious people (two were priests and one a Protestant minister) acting out of a stern conviction that not only was the war itself immoral but that the draft was inherently iniquitous because it aimed its sites squarely on the poor and underprivileged in the society while allowing the majority of the wealthy to escape unscathed. Unbeknownst to them, the protestors even had a Judas in their midst - one of their own number who had already informed on them to the FBI, resulting in the arrest, trial and ultimate acquittal of what would come to be known as The Camden 28.

The documentary, "The Camden 28," written and directed by Anthony Giacchino, gathers together many of the original members of the group to reminisce about the break-in and the trial and to reflect on how the event helped to turn the legal tide in favor of war protestors. For it was at the trial that the Camden 28 came to be seen as advocates for civil liberties who had simply employed the time-honored and deeply American tradition of civil disobedience as a foundation for their actions, making them more akin to abolitionists or the rebels at the Boston Tea Party than to actual criminals - i.e., people more concerned with securing justice than with adhering to the strict letter of the law.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 6, 2007
Format: DVD
The Camden 28 is a DVD presentation of the PBS documentary that aired on September 11th, 2007. Set in the early 70's, The Camden 28 investigates the historical incident of when 28 people, mostly non-violent activists from the Catholic left, plotted to break into a local draft board office and destroy records. But a mole had successfully infiltrated their operation; within hours of beginning their mission they were rounded up and arrested by the FBI, under the personal authority of J. Edgar Hoover. The Camden 28 includes a wealth of archival materials from Camden 28 members, witness for the defense Howard Zinn, and a former FBI agent involved in the case. A gripping true story of political dissent, offering relevance that far transcends the Vietnam era. Highly recommended. 83 minutes, color and black-and-white.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By San Valentino on September 25, 2008
Format: DVD
I asked Father Michale Doyle to baptize both my children in hopes that his passion for peace and compassion for the poor would influence their lives. Recently, I watched this documentary with my family and asked "Aren't you proud that Michael Doyle baptized you?" The answer was a definite yes. This movie is a "must see" for those on the spiritual journey. It encourages courage and optimism, but also grounds the viewers in the difficult practicalities of living the honorable life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margery L. Goldstein on September 23, 2007
Format: DVD
This fast-moving and suspenseful documentary covers an episode in the history of American civil disobediance that has unfortunately slipped into obscurity. This ought to be required viewing in high schools. It would also be very appropriate for church discussion groups and civic organizations.
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