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 »
This was an overall good release but there were numerous flaws. The worst of which was the dumbing down of the characters, especially Abbie Hoffman. It made for good cinema and fit the mainstream's mental picture of Abbie, but was quite misleading. Abbie's last wife, Johanna Lawrenson, was grossly misrepresented as apolitical and little more than a bubble-headed groupie. Both were excellent organizers and people. Talking to both was inspiring. It's sad that a film from a better source misrepresented them. However, that said, the film has value for providing a visual picture of the times and occurrences of Abbie's life. Abbie was one of the most significant of the 60s cast of characters and this film contributes to keeping his legacy alive.
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