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Weather Underground

Lili Taylor , Pamela Z , Bill Siegel , Sam Green    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.99
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Revisionist History June 29 2004
By A Customer
Thirty-four years ago this past January, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, Howard Machtinger (pictured,although never mentioned in the DVD) among others, established their murderous foco (communist collective) in the San Francisco Bay area, intent upon killing cops. They built anti-personnel bombs and detonated them at The Berkeley, CA Police Department, injuring officers there on February 13, 1970. (If you listened closely to the narrative on this DVD you heard about indictments in Detroit by a grand jury that were handed down, for those bombings-FBI illegalities quashed them later). Another bombing committed by the WU three days later, took the life of a police officer. Although Dohrn and her FOCO know they injured and killed, a close examination of their words will note they said they never injured anyone with their bombs-after the March townhouse mistake. Ayers and others say they learned to build bombs and operate weapons by themselves. They fail to mention their weapon and bomb-making training in Cuba, by Cuban Intelligence(DGI), the North Vietnamese and even the Soviet KGB, (in Cuba and Canada and other countries). Nor do Green and Seigel mention the Venceremos Brigades. VB is a very large part of this story. American radicals began taking training there in 1969. The intelligence agencies mentioned above taught our young communist/anarchists how to "bring the war home to Amerika". But this story is about Communism and the overthrow of Democracy-not the Vietnam war! The Venceremos Brigades recruits still go to Cuba today, to learn ways to bring terrorism, not only to the U.S., but anywhere there is a chance to re-establish Communism. Castro's embargo by the United States will never be lifted as long as he continues to train anarchists. Ever heard of the ALF and the ELF? Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great To See Them Again. June 30 2004
By A Customer
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. It was great to hear them reflect on those times, and the commentary by Bernadine and Bill is alone worth the price of the disc. Well-made film isn't perfect [what is with that ersatz orgy scene?] but is does afford us a glimpse at a time in our recent history that has been warped and ignored, for the most part.
As a footnote, permit me to add that it is proven, verifiable fact that Weather never killed anyone. Nobody died as a result of a WU action, with the sad exception of Terry, Diana, and Teddy at the townhouse explosion. To reiterate, there were never any casualities. The reviewer who states that a policeman died in a bombing needs a reality check quite badly. Effective film about people who never lacked the courage of their convictions. It is still true today: to stand by and do nothing in the face of gross injustice & mass slaughter is itself an act of violence. We STILL need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. With love to Bernadine, Bill, and the rest. Venceremos.
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By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is an interesting and well-made documentary that tracks the evolution of "The Weather Underground", a late 60s and early 70s USA radical movement that used violent means in order to fight against a government its members didn t believe in.

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".

Highly recommended....

Belen Alcat
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bias July 20 2004
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. An interesting film on US history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent historical treatment July 9 2004
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 protest era so this film is a good review of that.
The film is well done. I feel the Todd Gitlin, Mark Rudd and Brian Flannagan were the more realistic people on this DVD. Clearly they had come to see that the Weather Underground's methods were not ultimately the most effective and said so. They also saw the orgies as self indulgent and stupid.
In the end, all would truly admire a man of peaceful protest like the late David Dellinger for his methods as his were better than their methods.
This film should be seen as a great period piece. It should also be seen to affirm that violence wasn't the answer then and it isn't in Iraq now.
This is an educationally significant film that should be seen by all who are interested in the 60's.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Spoiled Brats
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 more
Published on July 7 2004 by Ann Lesters
2.0 out of 5 stars Footnote to history for 60s nostagiacs only
In the film there is only one voice that speaks for the legitimate left--Todd Gitlin, who articulates well just how counter-revolutionary (in terms of effect) these brats were. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by Sean Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat biased documentary
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 more
Published on June 21 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful look at American 60s radicals
In some ways, the group known as the Weather Underground (originally the Weathermen, an offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society) were more a symbol of 1960s radical idealism... Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by Lleu Christopher
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad snapshot that still resonates today
Shocking, engrossing, enlightening and ultimately heartbreaking, "The Weather* Underground" is a new documentary that should probably be seen by just about anybody who... Read more
Published on June 11 2004 by Clare Quilty
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!!
"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
Published on June 10 2004 by Lukas Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars No steps forward, two steps back!
If Reagan perfected political theater, The Weathermen perfected politics as melodrama! If politics were Dynasty, they'd be Joan Collins! Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Aaron
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good first step
A good reason to buy this DVD is that the two commentaries - the director's and that of two of the principals - taken together with the film itself makes a far more provocative... Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by Dia Ballou
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