The Weather Underground


Top 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2003 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Documentary Competition

Non-Cast Credits

Sam Green, Bill Siegel, Christian Ettinger, Mary Harron, Sue Ellen McCann, Carrie Lozano, Marc Smolowitz, Andy Black, Federico Salsano, Dawn Logsdon, Dave Cerf, Amy Domingues


During the Vietnam war and the Nixon administration, a group of white-bread, upper-middle-class college students took up guns and explosives to plot the violent overthrow of the United States government. Sam Green and Bill Siegal's energetic and incendiary documentary, The Weather Underground, tracks the history of this radical political group, called the EwWeatherman, and examines the psychology and politics which led its members to commit countless acts of terrorist activism.

Through remarkable archival footage and interviews with members of the dissolved group. Greenand Siegal follow the Weathermen from the group's origins as an offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society to is planned activities, including the Kent State bombings, the exposure of COINTELPRO, and the liberation of Timothy Leary from prison. The film lays bare the mentality of the members to reveal how they rationalized killing Americans in domestic settings, what it was like to live in a parallel underground world, and how the isolation and invisibility of that life ultimately induced their surrender.

A cautionary tale for individuals and institutions in today's volatile times, The Weather Underground is a provocative examination of Americans white privilege, governmental reaction to political revolution, and the ethnic dangers of taking up arms even form the vantage point of a moral high ground.


Shari Frilot (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.