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The Weather Underground
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Top Customer Reviews
According to some, their struggle was "like a children's crusade gone mad". I completely agree, but I think that the strongest point of this documentary is the way in which it highlights the reasons why an student living in that period might have felt attracted to the kind of distorted political activism that "The Weather Underground" proposed.
In that sense, this film includes not only footage from that epoch, providing a good historical context, but also more recent interviews with former members of this movement, that give their retrospective opinions on what happened. A few would do exactly the same thing again, while others regret their deeds, saying that their intentions were good but their means weren t. One of them sums things up in what I think should be the tagline of this documentary: "When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some horrific things".
The main thing that sticks in my craw about this documentary is that it leaves out some of the more disturbing statements and deeds by weather underground members--e.g., Bernardine Dohrn's commentary on the Manson killings.
At a 1969 "War Council" to launch the WU, Dohrn gave a three fingered "fork salute" to Charles Manson, whom she apparently regarded as some sort of revolutionary inspiration. She then made jokes about Manson's victims and dubbed them the "Tate Eight" after Sharon Tate, the pregnant actress whom members of the Manson tribe stabbed in the womb with a fork. "Dig it," said Dohrn at the time. "First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!"
That the producers would omit such a revealing (and yet horrifying) statement by one of the main subjects of the film does lead one to question their motives, especially when the producers do spend some time on the Manson killings and even include gruesome footage of Manson's victims. Perhaps Dohrn refused to appear on film if the producers brought it up. I don't know. Imagine what a post-revolutionary world led by this broad might have looked like. Well in 1969 I'm guessing none of them had the time to read Robert Conquest's just-published "The Great Terror".Read more ›
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 ›
Most recent customer reviews
Really good and enlightening. I am not a radical fan, but they were right in many issues at the time.Published 5 months ago by Robert Woolfolk
Weather Underground doesn not seemed to be a bias look at the organization. It doesnt say their actions were good, they let the people speak for themselves. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by chicoer2003
I am absolutely opposed to violence as a form of protest so the Weather Underground was not a group I agreed with, yet, one could agrue that they did play a role in the Vietnam... Read morePublished on July 9 2004 by Uncle Elmer
Where do I sign up for the FBI? And if a few rules are broken - shock! - to break these guys up, so be it. And if they use their rich connections to get out of jail time... Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Ann Lesters
This is an effective and educational film that offers insight into a vanished time and place. I loved and respected Weather at the time, and still do. Read morePublished on June 30 2004
The documentary is interesting and the filmmakers clearly did their research. They take their time connecting the relationships for the viewers and showing the politics of the time... Read morePublished on June 21 2004
Shocking, engrossing, enlightening and ultimately heartbreaking, "The Weather* Underground" is a new documentary that should probably be seen by just about anybody who... Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Clare Quilty
"Every generation needs a new revolution." --Thomas Jefferson
As a twentysomething, this film made me really wish I had lived during the 60s, a time of change when... Read more
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