It's the mid 1970s and the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), a radical (and violent) offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society, explains to leftist filmmakers the difficulties... See full summary »
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It's the mid 1970s and the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), a radical (and violent) offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society, explains to leftist filmmakers the difficulties and experiences of being underground and wanted by the federal government. Written by Rex Iscariot <>

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The Film The FBI Didn't Want You To See







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9 May 1976 (USA)  »

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Interesting documentary on an almost forgotten organization.
9 February 2008 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

When I was a young lad I heard some references to the then infamous "Weather Underground", but never really had a full grasp of who and what they were at the time. As I got older I heard a bit more about the organization, then dutifully filed them under "fringe group" and promptly forgot about them.

Then I saw this documentary. Something in the back of my mind said "Huh, this sounds very familiar..." And then the imagery of what I would refer to as long-haird-baby-sitter types, replete with wide brimmed leather caps and so forth, splashed onto the screen with moderately faded and grainy colors that was 1960's news film.

And then the documentary unfolded, and the story of the Weather Underground was told. As far as documentaries go it was fairly decent. The film showed the images of what impressed the members of the Weather Underground to wage a campaign of violence. And herein we gain insight to some of their thinking and beliefs, and what ultimately drove them to commit horrible acts of violence against institutions.

We the audience are exposed to images showing the acts-of-oppression, and the rhetoric of the Vietnam war that the Weather Underground believed they had to sift through in order to come to their own version of a clear-minded conclusion. It was the Weather Underground's belief that the injustices they perceived boiled down to some basic elements that troubled society as a whole. But herein lies the problem, they themselves aren't able to articulate precisely how their actions will bring about change, nor why they believe people will take up the cause of violence to turn the social power structure on its head.

But that's not really a short-coming of the film, so much as it is a short-coming of the Weather Underground themselves. They see a problem, consider all forms of protest, take a more radical and violent avenue as their course of action, but then fail, and, I think, knew they would fail. Or if they didn't, then it shows how short sighted said young revolutionaries were. In this regard the film, unexpectedly, comments on the ability of any social movement to properly digest and weigh data on whatever it is that concerns them. In other words, based on the testimony in the film, it appears the Weather Underground got wrapped up in itself.

The film itself could stand to be cleaned up a bit. A new print from the master negative would do much to preserve a slice that reveals some of America's more violent history. The film makes for an interesting one-off viewing, and reminded me of another time. If you're into seeing what some of the 60s and early 70s were about, then give this look.

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