The Weather Underground Sam Green and Bill Siegel
Published Jan 01, 2006This documentary studies the progression of the Weathermen, a radical American anti-war, anti-capitalist movement that existed in the 1960s and 1970s. Former members and leaders within the student movement opposing the Vietnam War splintered off from their non-violent brethren to form the Weathermen, who were committed to the overthrow of the United States government by any means necessary.
These almost exclusively white middleclass college kids created communes in working class neighbourhoods across the U.S. in an attempt to galvanise white youth to stand on the side of justice in solidarity with the oppressed people of colour throughout the world and at home. They found their support to be limited, however, and their rage briefly turned to a period of planning random acts of violence perpetrated at any symbol of "the man's" power, including human beings. A tragedy within their own ranks made them reconsider the soundness of indiscriminate killing as a protest method, and the Weathermen, many of whom were by this point on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list, went underground and started a campaign of disciplined bombings carefully planned and executed to cause damage to symbol's of the United States' imperialist power (the Pentagon, the Capital Building) while avoiding human injury.
Members remained underground for up to ten years, watching the political landscape shift and public interest drift away from their cause, especially after the end of the Vietnam War. The film is an ably put together standard documentary combination of interviews and stock footage, which puts the movement into a proper historical context and views it with a critical yet sympathetic eye. It is most interesting for the interspersed interviews with a cross-section of the movement's former members and leaders, whose hard-won perspective on the past offers both explanation and regret. (Filmswelike, www.filmswelike.com)