The Weather Underground

Director: Sam Green, Bill Siegel

2002| Colour| 92 mins| USA

‘You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows’, Bob Dylan sings in Subterranean Homesick Blues. In the late sixties, everybody sensed a revolution in the air. A group of subversive students took their stand and formed The Weathermen. Their goal was to undermine the Establishment, without shrinking from radical means. They saw apathy as the real act of violence. The horrible unjust violence of the Vietnam War and brutal US police action against Afro-Americans at home convinced The Weathermen of their just and moral cause. The war had to be fought ‘in the belly of the motherland’. After three Weathermen were killed in New York while constructing a bomb, other members went underground. In the early ’70’s, a series of bomb attacks on government buildings brought them
back into public perception. They had a role in the spectacular escape of counterculture priest Timothy Leary from a Californian prison. When the Vietnam War ended, the revolution was suspended. The group disbanded, some voluntarily turned themselves in, others remaining hidden. This documentary is illuminated by candid, stimulating and humanising encounters with former Weathermen. It is a balanced, personal look at issues of war, peace, resistance and idealism, taking us to the heart of the action intercutting lively archive
material and contemporary visits to essential sites. Directors Green and Siegel offers us a compelling lesson in recent American history and the nature of ‘terrorism’.

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