Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This is a Declaration of a State of War...

The Weather Underground is an Academy Award nominated documentary from 2002 directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel. It is a straight historical documentary of the radical leftist organization of the same name that was active during the 60s and 70s. These young counter-culture revolutionaries were responsible for the bombing of several public institutions and symbols in protest of the continued war in Vietnam. Their slogan was "bring the war home," and their activities eventually brought the wrath of the FBI's CONINTELPRO (the same department that eradicated the Black Panthers) down on the group's secret members.
This documentary accurately and effectively brings light to the secret lives of the revolutionaries of the Weather Underground. This was a subject I was previously unfamiliar with, the Underground being active a bit before my time, so I (as a history nerd) relished the opportunity to learn something new about my parents' era. I think the element that lent the most credibility to Green and Siegel's effort was the use of interview material directly from the ex-revolutionaries themselves. Ringleaders Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and others told their story first a first-person perspective. This point-of-view allowed insight into the motivations of the young terrorists that would not be possible in say, a History Channel style documentary on the group. Their perspective was interesting and enlightening, allowing me to feel a bit more of the anger the counter-culture crowd felt in the 60s. The documentary was thorough and compelling, a concise and well-executed history of a secretive organization who's history had previously remained in the shadows, just as its members had during their time underground.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for pointing out the point of view! Important element to consider whenever watching a doc.