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Five years after Yippie founder Abbie Hoffman goes underground to avoid a drug-related prison sentence, he contacts a reporter to get out the story of the FBI's covert spying, harassment and inciting of violence they then blame on the Left. The skeptical reporter interviews Anita, Hoffman's wife, a single mom on welfare in New York City; Hoffman's attorney, Gerry Lefcourt; and others. As they talk, we see Hoffman's career in flashbacks, from early civil rights organizing through the trial of the Chicago Eight. While underground, as mental illness takes its toll, he meets Johanna Lawrenson, and an odd family develops: Abbie, Anita, their son, and Johanna. Will vindication ever arrive? Written by
I feel compelled to comment about both the movie and the bias in the movie. As someone who studies Abbie Hoffman I thought that the movie stayed pretty true to what Hoffman wrote in his autobiography, the letters that he and Anita shared that were eventually published, and the transcripts of the court testimony of the Chicago Trial. I think that knowing the movie is based on documents written by Abbie himself makes any bias in the movie seem appropriate or at least more acceptable. Also, I would argue that it is helpful to have a portrait of Abbie that is mostly positive, considering all of the trouble the government went to in order to paint him in a bad light to the public. I think Hoffman was an extremely interesting, albeit troubled character, and I think that D'Onofrio portrayed him well.
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