Monday, June 05, 2006

Documentary About Turbulent Times

by Bill Siegel

The more that I learn about the 1960s and 70s, the less I realize that I know. It was a complicated and confusing time when things were difficult to understand and many of the extraordinary and shocking events and struggles have been filtered through fictional lenses to the point where it’s hard to know what is real and what is nostagia. In The Weather Underground the story of one of the most radical groups of the late 60s and early 70s is told. What is fascinating about the documentary is the way in which the context of the time is established and perspective is provided by many of the participants today. What I was left with was a great sense of loss. There was a loss of life, of joy and of opportunity as the shadow of the war in Vietnam managed to divide and warp society in a way that still influences both politics and culture. The documentary provides a view of the events that is more human and personal than many other historical documentaries.

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