The Weather Underground (2002)
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Critic Reviews for The Weather Underground
If names such as Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, Naomi Jaffe and Brian Flanagan mean nothing to you, you'll definitely want to see the thought-provoking documentary, The Weather Underground.
The Weather Underground leaves the viewer with many questions. To the filmmakers' credit, most of them are the right and urgent ones to ask.
Directors Sam Green and Bill Siegel expertly limn the forces that gave rise to Weatherman and clearly sympathize with the group's motivations. At the same time, they don't stint on Weatherman's follies.
Whose side the documentarians are on is never clear -- in a muddy rather than an ambiguous way. Did anyone die from the Weathermen's bombings? We don't find out here.
An eye-opening look at idealism taken to extremes during one of the most turbulent periods of American history.
Audience Reviews for The Weather Underground
"The Explosive Story Of America's Most Notorious Radicals."
The Weather Underground is a really interesting and absorbing documentary that chronicles an unsure time in America. The Weather Underground bombed many public buildings in protest of pretty much anything violent that the government or police did. To me it's kind of hypocritical, but hey, they were trying. All their trying basically did nothing except make them complete outcasts and make them seem like mentally ill hippies. Their motives were comprehendible, but their actions, not so much.
This documentary does a good job presenting the story through footage, interviews with actual Weathermen and little readings of letters and memoirs from the Weathermen. Now, listening to the much older Weathermen talk; most of them seem like your next door neighbor.
The film manages to keep the viewers entertained while informing us on an important time in America. A time where we had groups rioting, smashing windows, robbing banks and blowing up buildings; all in the name of the demolishment of an unjust and oppressive government. Join the fight against the oppressor or you are the oppressor is what they believed. If you sit and do nothing in a time of war, when our military is slaughtering innocent civilians in Vietnam; then you are acting in a violent way. You aren't changing or calling for a change in what is taking place in the war. So to me, their beliefs on the war make sense. I just don't think that they went about it the right way.
A sobering and much-needed documentary. Sadly, it only begins to scrape the surface of the importance and context of the Weather Underground.
Sadly, this film would be much more at home as a History Channel special event feature, rather than the groundbreaking documentary that still needs to be made about the Weather Underground.
Regardless, don't wait around for it. This film is especially a must-see for anyone who wasn't alive during the 1960's and can't seem to bring themselves past retro-caricaturisation of the era. Direct interviews (most notably from the former FBI investigators) are more than welcome addition, although at times it seems as if the film struggles to provide detail without detracting from the coherency of the overall narrative.
Informative, disturbing documentary about a time of great upheaval in the USA, and a group of misguided people who chose the wrong direction to try and make a difference. Just one question why aren't these people in jail?
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