THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND
Director, Producer and EditoråÊåÊåÊåÊ
Co-director and Producer
“Hello, I’m going to read a declaration of a state of war… within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice.”åÊBernardine Dohrn
Thirty years ago, with those words, a group of young American radicals announced their intention to overthrow the U.S. government. In THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, former Underground members, including Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, David Gilbert and Brian Flanagan, speak publicly about the idealistic passion that drove them to “bring the war home” and the trajectory that placed them on the FBI’s most wanted list.
Fueled by outrage over racism and the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground waged a low-level war against the U.S. government through much of the ’70s-bombing targets across the country that they considered emblematic of the real violence that the U.S. was wreaking throughout the world.
Ultimately, the group’s carefully organized clandestine network managed to successfully evade one of the largest manhunts in FBI history, yet the group’s members would reemerge to life in a country that was dramatically different than the one they had hoped their efforts would inspire.
Extensive archival material, including photographs, film footage and FBI documents are interwoven with modern-day interviews to trace the group’s path, from its pitched battles with police on Chicago’s streets, to its bombing of the U.S. Capitol, to its successful endeavor breaking acid-guru Timothy Leary out of prison. The film explores the Weathermen in the context of other social movements of the time and features interviews with former members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Black Panthers. It also examines the U.S. government’s suppression of dissent in the 1960s and 1970s. Looking back at their years underground, the former members paint a compelling portrait of troubled times, revolutionary
times, and the forces that drove their resistance.