Monday, October 17, 2011

Weather Underground (2002)

Place posts here. Weather Underground is a documentary by Sam Green and Bill Seigel.

Group 1: By Tuesday morning, post a 3-400 word response on Berkeley in the Sixties, directed by Mark Kitchell.

Group 2: By Thursday at noon, post a 200 wordish response to something or things discussed by Group 1.


  1. So far in this class I have had somewhat of an idea or pre viewing knowledge about the documentaries we have watched, but I had no idea what so ever what the weathermen underground was, what they did, or what they stood for. Receiving all of this information and seeing all of these horrifying images of the past was a real eye opening experience as far as what life for some was like in the 60’s goes. I thought that the director made the documentary even more interesting by revisiting placers where the weatherman had set off bombs or the weatherman’s many hide outs. It made it seem like I was part of the revolution or at least there to see it all go down. I thought that the most interesting part of the documentary was the when the FBI got caught targeting major members of revolutionary organizations such as Martin Luther King and the weatherman underground. The weatherman’s goals of bringing the war home I found pretty inspiring. Considering that there were multiple revolutions happening all around the world the weathermen found that the only way to get the overall attention from the government was to bring violence to the home front. My favorite line from the documentary was said by Dr. King and I feel it best describes the reason behind the weatherman underground. “People who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

  2. The weather underground was a very interesting documentary . evrything in it was a FACT and part of the U.S history forever . however it seems like people don’t remember these days like I thought they would after interviewing a few people that have leave these years of revolution . I think the media today is trying to put all this behind us and is scare to mention or bring back these revolutionary days . That’s because the media are totally controlled by outside forces that prevent them to really express themselves 100% freely . There is many big famous anchor that have been fired from their famous big positions such as dan rather and that other guy on CNN . ( I forgot his name) . Since our society and the world all together is not doing fantastic right now in term of economy and socially, they will not bring back on our main news sources the struggle of the weather underground .
    the weather underground did not target people since they DID NOT have bombs exploding where mass of people were . They blowed anything that represent the U.S governement so they could be heard and that they thought it would hopefully be a wake up call for the people that may be a little passive during that period and era . The U.S government is obviously very serious when it comes to try to shake the system or change things that is not on their agenda . It is probably the same in France and England and many western europeen country .
    here is an interseting quote is : “ Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. . . Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue” –Barry Goldwater.
    I believe that check and balance should be done by the government . But at times if people get involved in the process with such extremism thirst for justice, then,it is obviously that something is going terribly wrong . I believe that if world leaders are not careful, it is not impossible that another revolution begin. It is why the people voices need to be taken seriously . They did have well educated people in the underground movement, not just high school dropout. They were thoughts, and strong thinking and reflection . However sometimes movement like these can become dangerous if they loose or forget what direction they are trying to go to ….

  3. From Austin M:

    The Weather Underground was the most intense documentary we have viewed so far in class. Because of the radical nature of this group, who believed in bringing the war to the US so the government would pay attention to what they were saying, this film also had to be radical in its own way. Compared to the other films we have viewed there was little to no nudity, and no up close shots of genitals. In the Weather Underground we are thrown into their radical, living in the moment, free love way of life and witness an orgy, right after that however we see a young child in Vietnam naked from a napalm strike burning the clothes off her skin. This sharp and sudden contrast stays in the viewer’s mind so they will remember the scene of chaos and pain caused by the US and their napalm strikes. This film was also radical because of the amount of violence shown in it. Images of US soldiers shooting dead Vietnamese repeatedly are shown, along with photos from the My Lai Massacre. These violent images would definitely stick into any viewers mind, it shows the darker side of the war in Vietnam, and the purpose it serves is to convince more people that the war should not be supported.

  4. From Jessica W:

    The Weather Underground definately settled comfortably in my top three films shown thus far category, after getting the pleasuring of viewing the film in thursday's class. This is film was so interesting to me for a variety of reasons. I am not writing an actual paper, just a blog, so I will attempt to touch on them while holding back from expanding on some of the novelistic ideals that the film entailed.
    First and foremost I found this film remarkable simply because of all that it incorporated. In previous classes, we have watched films on numerous groups, events, ect. that took place in the 60's, and seemingly all them popped in and out of The Weather Underground. Examples of these are the Black Panther Society, Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, Bob Dylan, The Vietnam War, and all those anti-war student groups that we learned about previously in the semester. To see the previously listed thrown into one film, not only gave me a better understanding of what I had learned already, but a better understanding of the decade in general.
    Another crucial point of the documentary that sparked my interest was the intent of the group, quite different from any of those that I had studied before; to violently overthrow the U.S. governement by any means necessary. After watching the clip on the "days of rage" that took place in Chicago, many Americans felt that these young people were "committing violence for violence's sake." This raised the question of, what is the definiton of violence? The days of rage in my opinon of course, were seemingly pointless acts of vandalism, but at least this uprising of revolutionaries were doing something. Afterall, if you quietly sit at home with a blind eye to apparent injustice, couldn't that be a form of violence all in itself? Some would say that there is no innocent American in the war of aggression. One of the members of w.u. that was interviewed brought up the astonishingly true ideal that Americans, from a very young age, are programmed to think that all violence that isnt government sanctioned should be viewed as criminal and mentally ill; but that's just not always the case.
    This film left me with the thought that you cannot generalize the entirety of a group. In any mass of human beings, despite the corruption, there are good people. I believe in most cases that everyone does what they think is best, given their intellect, past, and circumstances. It is only God's job to judge.

  5. From Geri B:

    The "Weather Underground" was a documentary by Sam Green and Bill Seigel. This group took place mainly within the decade of 1970. They had acquired their name from Bob Dylan's phrase, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." They were advocates who were completely against the war. Having never heard of the group prior to the film, I was very curious to see what the group had accomplished, if anything.
    So far, we have only learned about groups that practiced nonviolent acts. This group, on the other hand, began with nonviolent acts, then decided to switch to violence. In the year of 1969, during a convention in Chicago, the group felt as if they have achieved little to nothing. Their thoughts of failure led them to want to change their ways of doing things. These weathermen's main focus was to, "Bring the War Home." Therefore, they came up with a plan to start throwing bombs in the United States as a response to things they disagreed with. By the mid 1970's people loss interest in the weathermen and gained interest in the Women's Rights Movement. By the year of 1975, the Vietnam War ended and the group wanted to give up. By the end of the 70's almost all of the weathermen had turned themselves in. Not many of them went to prison. What I gained most from the film is that violence isn't the way to go. Unfortunately, the weatherman figured that themselves the hard way. Although, I must say, it was very intriguing to see a different approach to making a change. Overall, I enjoyed the film and believe Mr. Green and Mr. Seigel had a good presentation of the past.

  6. Amanda DeRossett (Group 2):

    “The Weather Underground” is a documentary film directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel. This film was done in 2002, but the events happened in 1969. It’s about a group of college students who were opposed to the Vietnam War. The students considered themselves as radicals, which started the movement. This documentary, to me, was completely different from the others. The difference in this film was that there were no boundaries. The violent scenes in the film were a side of Vietnam I hadn’t seen. I had heard stories, seen movies and documentaries, but this was real and went beyond what the other documentaries we watched had shown. There were scenes of American soldiers violently killing the Vietnamese people, bombings over villages, and video footage and pictures of dead women and children. Another scene that was different from the other films we watched, was the orgy scene. Mainly because around that time in the 1960’s, sexuality was hidden, but started to become more common. Plus, this film was done in 2002, unlike the others we watched, so it wasn’t as big of a deal to show nudity. In the 60’s, though, it was looked down upon by the majority of the United States. The young radicals took initiative and stood up to the American government by speaking their mind and physically tried to stop the government by doing violent acts against government agencies without hurting a single person. I really enjoyed “The Weather Underground”, because it showed what really happened around that time in the 1960’s and what The Weathermen did to prove the government wrong.

  7. From Andrew H:

    The Weather Underground
    This movie was interesting to me for several reasons. The first reason is that other documentaries seem to only talk about up till 1969 and never really go into the kind of things that went on after. This film showed what people are capable of when they feel that peaceful protest is not enough. Although they were not trying to kill anyone, they thought that it would make a bigger statement about what they wanted if they resorted to such things as blowing up buildings. To a certain extent, it was kind of frightening while comparing that to what we have going on today. Over the past couple of weeks there seems to me more coverage of the occupy wall st protests, but instead of covering what they are about they seem to concentrate on the political aspect and how it pertains to the upcoming election, instead of realizing how disenfranchised with the government as a whole people are. The reason it is frightening is that, with every protest movement, there are radical fringes that will always want to “up the ante” and start to make bigger statement such as violence and bombings, I just hope that these protests today don’t reach that point.
    Another aspect of this movie that I found interesting was the imagery that was presented. In this film the documentarian chose to put images in of death and destruction. One particular scene was when the soldiers are pulling a corpse out from under some bushes. This image showed how devastating the war had become. Human life is seen to be worth less at times of war because the soldiers could just pull this mangled body and toss it to the side. There were also images of the buildings after they had been bombed which showed how desperate the people in this movement had become for someone to notice what they were doing. They resorted to devastating means to get their point across because they felt the peaceful movement was not accomplishing the goals that they wanted met.
    So far in this class, this movie is the one that spoke to me the most. Although I would never want to harm anyone, I can see how the frustration of the mass media not recognizing the real problems of the people it says to be reporting on, can cause someone to do something drastic to get their word out. I myself have felt disenfranchised by our government and would love for a change to come, I would never resort to violence (at least I would like to hope I wouldn’t) but I can understand the feelings that would make someone go down that road.

  8. From Shana W:

    The Weather Underground is a documentary that is very different from what we normally view in our class. Up until this point many of the documentaries that we have viewed have shown a more peaceful and non violent view of the 1960's. Even though Berkely in the Sixties showed examples of protest we saw that those involved in protesting took a rather peaceful approach to making their ideas known and heard. However, The Weather Underground gives the viewers a more graphic aspect of the late 1960's and early 1970's. The directors done this by showing images of the war in Vietnam and images of bombings and agressive protests. Even though some may think that the directors may have gone too far in what they showed, the documentary done a wonderful job of showing people that there was more to protesting in the 1960's than just peace-loving hippies.