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 »
The sign behind Abbie Hoffman for the "Chicago 7 Legal Defense Fund" is misspelled "Defence". See more »
Written by Norman Whitfield (as Norman J. Whitfield) and Barrett Strong
Published by Stone Agate Music, a division of Jobete Music Co., Inc. (BMI)
Performed by Edwin Starr
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
The film is an interesting look, at what appears to be an interesting man. The style of film is distracting at first - it's all a little too busy, but once you get get by that the film is an interesting ride. The performances are great - Janeane Garolfalo and Jeanne Tripplehorn play the women Abbie loved and do it very effectivly. And D'Onofio is great as Hoffman himself - fiery, passionate and very effective. If there's a problem with the movie, it's that it seems too in love with Hoffman to give a truly accuarate picture. It romaticizes his struggle and seems to think that Hoffman did nothing wrong when he sold what appears to be a lot of cocaine to an FBI agent. True, he was set up, but he still sold it. The film breezes past Hoffman's suicide and paints a man like a golden boy, a truly great man. I would have appreciated a more honest look.
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