IMDb > The Weather Underground (2002)
The Weather Underground
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Overview

User Rating:
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Directors:
Sam Green
Bill Siegel (co-director)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Weather Underground on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 November 2003 (Australia) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(39 articles)
Jordan M. Smith’s Top 10 Best Docs of 2014 So Far
 (From ioncinema. 28 July 2014, 10:30 AM, PDT)

The Academy Invites 271 New Members for 2014
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 26 June 2014, 12:44 PM, PDT)

271 Invited To Join The Academy
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 26 June 2014, 12:13 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A balanced and engrossing documentary See more (39 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Lili Taylor ... Narrator (voice)
Pamela Z ... Narrator (voice)

Jim Lange ... Additional Narrator (voice)
Evan White ... Additional Narrator (voice)
Bernardine Dohrn ... Herself (also archive footage)
Mark Rudd ... Himself (also archive footage)
Brian Flanagan ... Himself (also archive footage)
David Gilbert ... Himself (also archive footage)
Bill Ayers ... Himself (also archive footage) (also as Bill Ayers)
Naomi Jaffe ... Herself (also archive footage)
Todd Gitlin ... Himself
Laura Whitehorn ... Herself (also archive footage)
Don Strickland ... Himself
Kathleen Cleaver ... Herself (also archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ivan Boesky ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Fidel Castro ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Eldridge Cleaver ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bob Dylan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jane Fonda ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gerald Ford ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Billy Graham ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Fred Hampton ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Abbie Hoffman ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dustin Hoffman ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
George Jackson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Timothy Leary ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles Manson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Zedong Mao ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Walter Mondale ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
James Robison ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Evelle Younger ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Sam Green 
Bill Siegel (co-director)
 
Produced by
Christian Ettinger .... executive producer
Sam Green .... producer
Mary Harron .... executive producer
Carrie Lozano .... producer
Sue Ellen McCann .... executive producer
Bill Siegel .... producer
Marc Smolowitz .... producer
 
Original Music by
David Cerf  (as Dave Cerf)
Amy Domingues 
 
Cinematography by
Andrew Black (director of photography) (as Andy Black)
Federico Salsano (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Sam Green 
Dawn Logsdon 
 
Art Department
Janet Raugust .... graphics
 
Sound Department
Jake Collins .... location sound
Elise Hurwitz .... location sound
Steve La Fayette .... location sound (as Steve Lafayette)
Rich Pooler .... location sound
David Westby .... sound mixer
Andre Philippenko .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Fenton .... additional camera
Greg Gricus .... additional camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Herbert H. Bennett .... colorist (as Herbert Bennett)
Herbert H. Bennett .... on-line editor (as Herbert Bennett)
Angela Reginato .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Jerry Busher .... composer: additional music
Brendan Canty .... composer: additional music
Ian MacKaye .... composer: additional music
Brooke Wentz .... music clearances: The Rights Workshop
David Cerf .... music editor (uncredited)
Amy Domingues .... music editor (uncredited)
Bob Massey .... composer: original music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Lindsay Anderson .... production assistant
Jason Cohn .... production assistant
Charlotte Gutierrez .... production assistant
Sarah Harbin .... production assistant
David Harris .... production assistant
John Lithgow .... production assistant
Sarah Marx .... production assistant
Guy Morrison .... archival footage assistance
Kenn Rabin .... archival footage assistance
Sara Sculley .... production assistant
Lindsay Dellas .... production assistant (uncredited)
Sarah Harbin .... researcher (uncredited)
Terry L. James .... digital film transfer (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Herbert H. Bennett .... special thanks (as Herbert Bennett)
Tom Hayden .... thanks
Guy Morrison .... special thanks
Alex Trebek .... thanks
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
92 min
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Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Quotes:
Bernardine Dohrn:There's no way to be committed to non-violence in the most violent society that history has ever created. I'm not committed to non-violence in any way.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
CD #1, track #1See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
A balanced and engrossing documentary, 9 February 2004
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

By the late 1960s, the undeclared war in Vietnam had dragged on for four years despite assurances from our political leaders that we had turned the corner. While massive protest marches brought the issue to the attention of millions, they did little to stop the war. By the early 70s, Richard Nixon was President, the war had escalated to Laos and Cambodia, protesting students were murdered at Kent State, over 30,000 Americans and countless more Vietnamese were dead and there was no end in sight. Impatient with non-violence and radicalized by the continually escalating casualty count and the deafness shown by political leaders, more militant groups such as The Weathermen and Black Panthers began to emerge.

The Weathermen (later The Weather Underground), a radical faction of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), waged a small-scale war against the US government during the 1970s that included bombing of the Pentagon and the Capitol buildings, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading a nationwide FBI manhunt. Nominated for an Academy Award, directors Sam Green and Bill Siegel's compelling documentary, The Weather Underground, candidly explores the rise and fall of the protest group over a six year period as former members speak about what that drove them to "bring the war home" and landed them on the FBIs ten most wanted list. Though tough questions were not asked, it is nonetheless a balanced and engrossing documentary that puts the last serious student movement in this country into historical perspective without either romanticizing or trivializing it.

Using FBI photographs, news accounts, archival war footage and interviews with Weathermen, SDS leaders, and FBI agents, the documentary explores the limits of protest in a free society and the odds faced by those confronting state and corporate power. Included are scenes of napalm bombing in Vietnam, the murder of Black leaders Fred Hampton and George Jackson, and excerpts of talks by President Nixon. The documentary contains interviews with seven of the original Weathermen, all White, middle class, and well educated: Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Brian Flanagan, Naomi Jaffe, Laura Whitehorn and David Gilbert. These were not weekend hippies or armchair activists but people so committed they cut themselves off from family and friends for nearly a decade.

While the movement began by targeting all (White) Americans, after the explosion of a homemade bomb in Greenwich Village, NY in 1970 killed three of their members, they determined that no one should die as a result of their direct action and no one did. In spite of their belief that civil disobedience was the only alternative, the radicalism of the group alienated many of the people they were trying to convert and forced them to go underground, eventually surrendering to the FBI. Today most are still active in professional capacities in support of these ideals and still convinced of the evils of the capitalist system and the need for genuine democracy.

While their acts can be understood on the basis that it was a time of worldwide revolution and by the failure of marches on Washington to stop the escalation of the war, questions as to whether or not their tactics were effective are still being debated. If nothing else, they exposed the FBI's sinister CointelPro program, an attempt to infiltrate and destroy left wing organizations. Though today the goal of a truly just and humane society seems farther away than ever, as director Siegel pointed out referring to The Weather Underground, "It's clear they didn't have the entire answer, but their impulse that the world can be a more progressive, humane place is worth considering. They made huge mistakes but also had an impulse that things needed to change." The impetus for that change is still alive.

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