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Oscar Nominee <I>Weather Underground</I> to Surface May 25

5 Mar, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

The Weather Underground, one of five Oscar nominees for best documentary feature of 2003, will come to home video May 25 (prebook April 27) from Docurama.

The title is the true account of Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, upon whose story the movie Running on Empty was loosely based.

The Weather Underground chronicles '70s radicals The Weathermen, who resorted to terror tactics to get the public and government's attention for the injustices of the Vietnam War and racism in America, and went underground to wage a low-level war aimed at overthrowing the U.S. government.

Along with archival material, including photographs, film footage and FBI documents, the story is told through recollections of former members Dohrn, Ayers, Mark Rudd, the imprisoned David Gilbert, Brian Flanagan, Naomi Jaffe and Laura Whitehorn. The group looks back on an era of political turmoil and discusses the idealism that drove its members to “bring the war home.”

Bonus materials on the DVD-only program ($24.95) will include running commentary by Dohrn and Ayers; filmmaker commentary from Sam Green and Bill Siegel; an exclusive film about Gilbert, the only member of the group still imprisoned; an excerpt from Underground, the 1976 documentary from filmmaker Emile de Antonio and filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler that captured The Weathermen during their darkest days in hiding; filmmaker statements and biographies; Spanish-language tracks and more.

The documentary has won top prizes at the San Francisco and Seattle film festivals, and was nominated for the Directors Guild of America award for best documentary and the Grand Jury Award at Sundance.

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