The Weather Underground (2002)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, History, War  |  13 November 2003 (Australia)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,927 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 40 user | 63 critic | 23 from

The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.'

Directors: Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman
Stars: Daniel McGowan, Lisa McGowan, Tim Lewis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Stars: Peter Arnett, Ben Bagdikian, Ann Beeson
The Garden I (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future.

Director: Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Stars: Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Antonio Villaraigosa
Crime | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film about the true reasons for the 1989 US invasion of Panama and big media complicity in these activities.

Director: Barbara Trent
Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Abraham Alvarez, Carlos Cantú
Marjoe (1972)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Part documentary, part expose, this film follows one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner on the "church tent" Revivalist circuit, commenting on the showmanship of Evangelism and "the ... See full summary »

Directors: Sarah Kernochan, Howard Smith
Stars: Marjoe Gortner, Sarah Kernochan
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Fred A. Leuchter Jr., Robert Jan Van Pelt, David Irving
GasLand (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a... See full summary »

Director: Josh Fox
Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger
Dark Days (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Director: Marc Singer
Stars: Marc Singer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man confronts the trauma of past sexual abuse as a boy by a Catholic priest only to find his decision shatters his relationships with his family, community and faith.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Jeff Anderson, Barbara Blaine, David Clohessy
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Groundbreaking interactive DVD that plays like a video version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" as the story follows 21 Year old Eric (the character whom the audience makes ... See full summary »

Director: David N. Donihue
Stars: Michael Ciriaco, Brea Grant, Hollis McLachlan
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.

Director: Stanley Nelson
Stars: Rebecca Moore, Janet Shular, Tim Carter


Cast overview:
Narrator (voice)
Pamela Z ...
Narrator (voice)
Additional Narrator (voice)
Evan White ...
Additional Narrator (voice)
Bernardine Dohrn ...
Mark Rudd ...
Brian Flanagan ...
David Gilbert ...
Bill Ayers ...
Himself (as Bill Ayers)
Naomi Jaffe ...
Todd Gitlin ...
Laura Whitehorn ...
Don Strickland ...
Kathleen Cleaver ...


In the late 1960s and early 1970s polarization of American political situation was becoming acute, with the Vietnam War abroad and civil rights at home being the most pressing issues. For the youth political movement, seemingly ineffectual methods of peaceful protest and resistance led to the rise of a faction that wanted a more extreme approach that the government could not ignore. One particular group, the Weather Underground, attempted to team up with the Black Panthers to violently confront the US government. They began with participation in street riots, and escalated their efforts to include the bombing of specific targets associated with the government or local power structures. Through archival footage and interviews of participants on both sides of this conflict, this film covers the Weather Underground's campaign of violence through this period, the FBI's strategies and tactics to apprehend them (including some deemed unethical or illegal), until changing times and ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 November 2003 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Tempo de Protesto  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,984 (USA) (6 June 2003)


$560,199 (USA) (21 May 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


In the segment about the accidental explosion of the Greenwich Village townhouse at 18 West 11th Street, Dustin Hoffman can be seen standing next to a fire truck observing the scene. He was living in the townhouse next door with his wife at the time, Anne Byrne. See more »


Naomi Jaffe: We felt that doing nothing in a period of repressive violence is itself a form of violence. That's really the part that I think is the hardest for people to understand. If you sit in your house, live your white life and go to your white job, and allow the country that you live in to murder people and to commit genocide, and you sit there and you don't do anything about it, that's violence.
See more »


Features CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite (1962) See more »


For Carl Sagan
Performed by Tarentel
Courtesy of Temporary Residence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Troubling but Timely
1 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Weatherman faction remains one of the more troubling aspects of the 60s counterculture, for manifold reasons. How did a bunch of well-educated, relatively privileged white kids transform from idealistic protesters for peace into revolutionary terrorists? How were they able to reconcile the inherent contradiction of using violence as a means of pursuing peace? Can violence ever lead to reconciliation, or must it necessarily beget more violence? Sam Green and Bill Siegel's documentary examines all of these questions while remaining remarkably objective. It's a pity that we should feel surprised when a documentary filmmaker actually attempts to uphold the all-but-obsolete standard of objectivity; nevertheless, Green and Siegel deserve to be complimented for presenting a film that is perhaps more a window into the confusion of the times than a history of one peculiar faction of anti-government activists.

Green & Siegel intersperse archival footage with commentary by a number of the Weather Underground's leaders, most of whom retain their revolutionary idealism, even if they have grown circumspect about their methodology.

The film persuasively channels the aura of violence and political unrest that characterized American culture as the first vestiges of counter-cultural idealism gave way first to frustration as the war in Vietnam escalated and then to radicalism as, one after another, civil and human rights activists ranging from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton were brutally silenced, possibly by order of American government agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Simultaneously, the tenor of apolitical American life shifted from the good vibrations of psychedelia to paranoia and suspicion. The image of the blissed-out, peace-loving, groovy hippie was replaced by the crazed expression of Charles Manson, whose murderous id made every God-fearing citizen's worst nightmares reality: acid-crazed hippies rampaging the suburbs, butchering innocents in order to start a revolution that would overthrow the status quo. Siegel's and Green's direction employs numerous archival clips that are shockingly graphic, including horrific footage of executions and the bodies of civilian casualties in Vietnam (including many women and small children) and uncensored crime scene photographs from the Tate-LaBianca murders ordered by Charles Manson. The material is somewhat objectionable, but serves the purpose of expressing the climate of fear that made it possible for the likes of Mark Rudd--now a quiet, somewhat melancholy math teacher at a community college in New Mexico--to drop out of sight and begin plotting the violent overthrow of the American political system.

The film presents the Weather Underground as admirable in its courage and determination, but also as terminally misguided. Weatherman leaders repeatedly express their solidarity with the Black Panthers and any revolutionary movement of underclass 'brown or black' people on the planet, but the few Panthers who comment for the film either disavow the Weathermen or express perplexity at their determination to identify with the struggle of blacks and other oppressed ethnicities. As adults, several of the group members acknowledge that, even when they were harassed or beaten by police, they were still treated far more humanely than their black counterparts, and so were never truly in the same struggle as those whom they supported. Some of the members still speak nostalgically about their Weathermen days and claim that they'd do it all over again; others express disdain and regret over their complicity in the deaths of innocents.

As we begin to see history repeating itself in Iraq, 'The Weather Underground' is all too timely. What was different about the 60s and 70s, when so many young people became committed to political activism, from the present, when the numbers are relatively few? Will the process that brought about the Weather Underground repeat itself, or was this particular group less a consequence of the times than of the choices of a few charismatic but misguided and naive twenty-somethings? Did Weatherman make a difference, or was it simply another small piece of the catastrophic collage of the Vietnam era? This film raises more questions than it answers--which is probably what art should always try to do.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the weather man were LOSERS wrensalert
were the weathermen right? thinkingmachine
where is today's SDS pepsivanilla
WOW! themovieman444
Did they really support Charlie Manson?? dododadadodo
What is the song toward the end that starts 'And now its winter...' Stonberg1
Discuss The Weather Underground (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: