|The Weather Underground: Press Release|
Independent Lens's "The Weather Underground," Nominated For Academy Award For Best Documentary
Nomination Marks Third Year in a Row For Film from The Independent Television Service (ITVS)
Film by Sam Green and Bill Siegel
Premieres Nationally on "Independent Lens,"
ITVS's Acclaimed Series on PBS
Presented in Association with KQED Public Television/San Francisco
Tuesday, April 27 at 10 p.m. (check local listings)
"You don't need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows."
-- Bob Dylan, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'
"A great story! The young, violent, and glamorous anti-establishment militants of the 1960s. Terrifically smart!"
-- Elvis Mitchell, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"THREE AND A HALF STARS...chronicles those early days of idealism, and their transition into a period when American society seemed for an instant on the point of revolution."
-- Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
"A fascinating window into American political history...one of the most thought-provoking documentaries of recent times."
-- Desson Howe, THE WASHINGTON POST
"A terrific movie, energetic and articulate. It's the don't-miss documentary of the season."
-- David Sterritt, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
(San Francisco, CA) -- January 28,2004 -- "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." Thirty years ago, with those
words spoken by Bernardine
Dohrn, a group of young American radicals announced their intention
to overthrow the U.S. government. In THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND,
former Underground members, including 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.
THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, will air nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Don Cheadle, on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 at 10 p.m. (check local listings). The nomination marks the third year in a row for a film from the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Last year (2003), Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco's DAUGHTER FROM DANANG was nominated, preceded the previous year (2002) by the film PROMISES, from filmmakers B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro and Carlos Bolado.
According to Sam Green, director, producer and editor, THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND was made possible through the support of several Bay Area institutions such as the Film Arts Foundation (FAF), the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), The Orphange, KQED and ITVS, with several local foundations and individuals also making financial contributions. With the filmmakers also based in San Francisco, the film can certainly be claimed as a product of the robust Bay Area arts community.
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 1970s -- 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 contemporary interviews to trace the group's rise and fall, 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.
THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, which has also been selected to be included in the Whitney Museum Biennial exhibit, is produced by The Free History Project and is a presentation of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with KQED/San Francisco.
Additional information and/or downloadable photographs from THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND are available at itvs.org/pressroom/photos.
The program's interactive companion website pbs.org/weatherundergound features detailed information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker, cast and crew bios, as well as links and resources pertaining to the film's subject matter. The site also features a "talkback" section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is a weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin in The New Yorker to write "Watching Independent Lens...is like going into an independent bookstore-you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted." Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Further information about the series is available at pbs.org/independent lens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American People, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People.
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.