Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sexy Criminals

I didn't remember what Bernadine Dohrn looked like, but one of my coffee shop friends who eats a cinnamon roll every day and is a decade younger than me told me she was "hot," 'cause he remembered. He grew up in working class Philly and says that in the 60s when he was in a rock band and would pick a girl up for a date, she would either start taking her clothes off in the car, or start rolling a joint. So I guess he had an eye for "hot." Today she's just another old lady with a past, but does look good in the preview below. Here's a review of The Weather Underground, and I suppose you can get it at your public library, since they really go for that sort of thing. Barack, btw, wasn't 8 years old in 1995 when he sought out Ayers as a mentor for his career in Chicago politics. This review is from NYT which really digs the fun stuff of terrorism and calls it smart and solid, now that 9/11 has faded a bit from memory.
    ''THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND,'' directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel (unrated, 92 minutes). This documentary tells the story of the Weathermen, a splinter group from Students for a Democratic Society. This terrifically smart and solid piece of filmmaking lets the former members of the Weathermen, now on the downside of their 50's, speak into the camera and reveal a bit of their personal histories as well as what the peace movement meant to them. The documentary is also packed with some of the most powerful images of violence of the period, like a bound Vietnamese being shot in the head at point-blank range and the bloody bed of the Black Panther Fred Hampton after he was killed. Voluble and charismatic, the film's stars -- the members of the group determined to overthrow what they considered to be a criminal United States government that waged the Vietnam War and targeted groups like the Black Panthers -- spent a lot of time in the media spotlight. Young, white and articulate, figures like Bernadette Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, Brian Flanagan and Naomi Jaffe were clearly very sexy criminals. That exuberance and incentive has been captured by the directors. Mr. Green and Mr. Siegel have made a film of passions, and they establish a context that shows what a turbulent period the late 1960's were, slyly contrasting the peace-and-love vibe with events of the time. The film doesn't let its subjects off the hook, despite apparent sympathies toward their politics (Mitchell). The preview.

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