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 ...
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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
The title for the film is inspired by Abbie Hoffman's book title "Steal This Book". It was a "survival guide" for hippies, including then-current names and addresses of places to go for free food, shelter and clothing. Since it was written for those wishing to survive outside the need for money (and it utilized Hoffman's infamous sense of humor), the title encouraged them to steal the book in order to access the information. See more »
Canadian road signs appear in several scenes including the early scene where Abbie is calling from the isolated phone booth. In the scene where Abbie's mother is driving down the road, a sign written in metric is clearly visible. See more »
Affecting, but doesn't catch the spirit (AND WHERE'S KUNTSLER?)
I felt compelled to give this movie a "10" because I love the subject and thought the performances were swell. But it didn't really capture the mood of the 60s--there really was a community of people all across the country who felt a shared vibe, but this movie portrayed the movement that Abbie was involved in as merely a political movement, with political countermovements against it. It was more than that, and different from that. Jeanine Garofolo gives a flawless performance as Anita. Somehow, however, Vincent D'Onofrio didn't seem right as Abbie--he was just too handsome and athletic. Although Abbie was indeed handsome and athletic, it was in a very Jewish, ergo comfortable, way. There are many others who would have made a better Abbie: John Cusack, the guy from Northern Exposure, the guy from Rushmore, the guy from American Pie.
And where was William Kunstler??!!! He was a major participant, defending the Chicago 7. What happened there? Just because Lefcourt was a producer, they dropped Kuntsler. Was Lefcourt even in Chicago?
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