In 1974, a teenage newspaper heiress and Berkeley undergrad was kidnapped at gunpoint from her apartment, setting off one of the most bizarre episodes in recent history. The kidnappers, completely off the map before Patty Hearst disappeared into the San Francisco night, were a small band of young, ferociously militant political radicals, dedicated to the rights of prisoners and the working class. They called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army. Over the course of about three years they robbed banks, senselessly killed two innocent people, instigated a firefight after attempting to shoplift a pair of socks, and, most famously, converted their hostage and victim. They also achieved an undeniably visionary manipulation of the media, inciting perhaps the first modern media frenzy. Presenting resonating questions about the role of the media in America--mouthpiece? Messenger? Truth seeker? --The ethical dilemmas posed by new technologies, and the proximity of madness to political ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Fascinating look at the chaos of the late 60's/early 70's
I saw this at the Florida Film Festival and was quite blown away. Taken with the Oscar-nominated doc The Weather Underground, both movies present a jaw-dropping look at just how tumultuous those times were, especially for someone who didn't live through them, like myself. It's amazing to see how far young, well-educated, mostly white kids were willing to go to prove their points about race, money and war. Archival footage, especially that of the harrowing shootout in Los Angeles that was broadcast live on the air, shows you an America that is almost unrecognizable to us. The ending, which juxtaposes images of media-darling Patty with the rest of the SLA either in jail or long-since dead, is truly stunning.
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