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The story of a notorious 1971 activist burglary of an FBI office that led to the Bureau's numerous abuses against dissidents being exposed.

Director:

Johanna Hamilton
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bonnie Raines Bonnie Raines ... Herself (as Bonnie)
John Raines John Raines ... Himself (as John)
Bob Williamson Bob Williamson ... Himself (as Bob)
Keith Forsyth Keith Forsyth ... Himself (as Keith)
Bill Davidon Bill Davidon ... Himself (as Bill)
Betty Medsger Betty Medsger ... Herself, reporter, The Washington Post
Terry Neist Terry Neist ... Himself, former FBI agent
Athan Theoharis Athan Theoharis ... Himself, professor of history, Marquette University
J. Edgar Hoover J. Edgar Hoover ... Himself, director of the FBI (archive footage)
Sanford Ungar Sanford Ungar ... Himself, journalist
Benjamin C. Bradlee Benjamin C. Bradlee ... Himself, executive editor, The Washington Post (archive footage)
Katharine Graham Katharine Graham ... Herself, publisher, The Washington Post (archive footage)
George McGovern ... Himself, senator, South Dakota (archive footage)
Bob Dole ... Himself, senator, Kansas (archive footage)
Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

On March 8th, 1971, eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, PA. Calling themselves the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, they removed every file in the office. Mailed anonymously, the stolen documents started to show up in newsrooms. The heist yielded a trove of damning evidence. The most significant revelation was COINTELPRO, a controversial, secret, illegal surveillance program overseen by lifelong Bureau director J. Edgar Hoover. Despite one of the largest investigations ever conducted, the FBI was unable to catch the burglars. Those responsible have never revealed their identities. Until now. For the first time the burglars have decided to speak about their actions. 1971 is their story, examining the consequences and implications of their actions - then and now. Written by Anonymous

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the recreation of the crime scene which occurs during the Ali - Frazier fight of March 8th 1971, there are cut aways to another person in the building watching the fight. The fight was closed circuit only, and there was no cable TV in 1971, so anybody wanting to see the fight live either had to be in the arena or in theaters and auditoriums broadcasting the fight for a fee. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cameraperson (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Foxy Devil
Performed by Luther Ingram & The G-Men
Smash Records
Re-released in 1971 following the revelations of the Media Buglary
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User Reviews

 
How can breaking into the FBI be dull?!
17 December 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The story told in "1971" is a very important one for every American and I do recommend you see it. However, despite this I have to be honest...I had a very hard time staying awake during the film. Normally I don't have this trouble but think it wasn't just me...the film, despite about some important events, comes off as very slow. See it...just try to have some caffeine with you.

The story in this film is super-important. At the height of the anti-Vietnam War movement, an unknown group of dissidents broke into a local FBI field office in Pennsylvania and stole the documents in the office. This was important for two reasons: the documents held important evidence of illegal FBI activities and copies of the documents were sent to the press! Now, for the first time, concrete evidence was known to exist that talks about FBI harassment of innocent Americans the agency saw as subversives! So, breaking up marriages and manipulating innocent people was fair game for the agency--mostly because there was practically no oversight of the FBI.

So why is this important today? Well, with increasing surveillance by not only the FBI but Homeland Security, we once again have the POTENTIAL for abuses of civil liberties. Additionally, with the WIKILEAKS and Edward Snowden stories in the news, the events of 1971 seem very familiar once again. Overall, an interesting story told in a rather dry and low energy fashion that every American, on the right, left or in the middle, should see.


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