The key players in the radical movement known as the Weather Underground are skillfully brought to life in this Oscar-nominated documentary. The Weathermen were born of sixties protest, but took their scheme to overthrow the U.S. government to especially violent extremes. Never a well-populated movement, the Underground petered out as its leaders aged during the seventies; by decade's end, weary of hiding, most of them had turned themselves over to the authorities. That journey, by which a fire-breathing revolutionary such as Bernadine Dohrn became a (still fiery) gray-haired wife and mother, is an intriguing one. This film, rich in period footage (and some unnecessary sensationalism) captures the era somewhat broadly. But the present-day interviews with the participants, contrasted with their radical selves, provides an exceptionally detailed look inside the organization itself. It's not a nostalgic look back, and the overall mood is sobering rather than celebratory. Lili Taylor provides the narration. --Robert Horton
Hello. I m going to read a declaration of a state of war...Within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice --Bernardine Dohrn
Thirty years ago, with these words, a group of young American radicals called The Weathermen announced their intention to overthrow the U.S. government. Fueled by outrage over the Vietnam War and racism in America, they went undergound during the 1970s, bombing targets across the country that they felt symbolized the real violence that the U.S. government and capitalist power were wreaking throughout the world. From pitched battles with police on Chicago s city streets, to bombing the U.S. Capitol building, to breaking acid-guru Timothy Leary out of prison, this carefully organized clandestine network attempted to incite a national revolution, while successfully evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history.
One of the top documentaries of the year, this award-winning film interweaves extensive archival material with modern-day interviews to explore the incredible story of The Weather Underground. As former members reflect candidly about the idealistic passion that drove them to bring the war home, they paint a compelling portrait of troubled and revolutionary times, with unexpected and often striking connections to the current world situation.
Commentary From Former Weathermen Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers; Filmmaker Commentary; Original Weathermen Audio Communiques; Bonus Film on Former Weatherman David Gilbert: A Lifetime of Struggle; Excerpt from Emile de Antonio film Underground; Filmmaker Biographies; Filmmaker Statement; Spanish Subtitles; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection