The Weather Underground
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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
- Original Weathermen audio communiques
- Bonus film on former Weatherman David Gilbert: A Lifetime of Struggle
- Excerpt from the Emile de Antonio film Underground
- Filmmaker biographies
- Filmmaker statement
Top Customer Reviews
Most members of the group, despite the bombings, were committed to not harming people. This brings up a rather blatant omission in the film -Kathy Boudin, perhaps the group's most notorious member (for her participation in a robbery where a man was killed) is not mentioned at all. This was an unfortunate decision, apparently done to portray the Weathermen as essentially nonviolent. To leave out such a well known chapter in the group's history leaves a gaping hole. Still, the parts that are included are fascinating and give a glimpse into the idealism and naivete of these leftist radicals.
In retrospect, it is (at least from one perspective) a little sad to see how little long term effect the 1960s counterculture had on society. It seems that they were no match for the propaganda machine of the government and mass media.Read more ›
The Weathermen, later known as the Weather Underground after the members went into hiding, utterly failed to achieve any of their objectives. Their first big action occurred in Chicago when the group launched their own version of Kristalnacht, called "The Days of Rage." The Weathermen and their associates roamed through the streets of Chicago, breaking windows, fighting with cops, and generally making a huge nuisance of themselves.Read more ›
Consider Michael Moore. I like his documentaries -- and I'm inclined to agree with him on the issues he's addressed (e.g., gun control, the war in Iraq, the arrogance and duplicity of the Bush administration) -- but they're far from unbiased. That's fine, of course, because he doesn't pretend to be neutral. He's an advocate who presents ideas and perspectives largely ignored by the mainstream press. His work is valuable (and often entertaining), but ultimately unsatisfying. I always leave a Micheal Moore film wondering what an informed person on the other side would have to say.
"The Weather Underground" is different. Though I'm sure the directors have strong feelings about their subject, they don't express them in the film. Instead, they present a balanced history of the Weathermen and let you form your own opinions regarding this controversial organization that endorsed the use of violence to protest the Vietnam War.
Because the directors resist every temptation to reveal (let alone impose) their personal views, people who watch the film often have wildly different reactions to it. I first saw the movie in a packed theater in Chicago. One of the interview subjects was Todd Gitlin, a former president of the SDS who was active in the anti-war movement but critical of the Weathermen. He seemed smart, sensible and thoughtful, and I found myself agreeing with most everything he said. But others in attendance actually hissed whenever he appeared on screen. I'm sure it would have been easy for the directors to make Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was hoping to see new developments on how and why certain pol that have reach the pinnacle of high office were in cahoots with those terrorist.Published 7 months ago by Angel
This is a very good documentary. I use it at the college level to help students think about the nature of radicalism in the late 1960s Student Movement. Read morePublished 9 months ago by ProfEverard
Great doc. Well made and plenty of info about this interesting time in American History.Published 11 months ago by Bryan Day
Good intentions gone wrong; very informative/ captivating documentaryPublished 11 months ago by KIM
It is very easy to dismiss the Weathermen as domestic terrorists and leave it at that. The truth, however, as is often the case, is somewhat more complicated. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Hannibal Hartford Langhorne
Was there - that time/that place. Not in school at Berkley, but knew which way the wind blows. Didn't bomb anything - unfortunately. Did do anti-war marches. Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by Kandy Langford