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Underground

Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground
Underground

After reading Prairie Fire: Political Statement from the Weather Underground in 1974, filmmaker Emile de Antonio determined to make a “new kind of didactic, revolutionary film”—a “film weapon.” He formed a collective with fellow filmmakers Mary Lampson and Haskell Wexler, and through a series of “cloak-and-dagger meetings” the trio arranged to interview active members of the radical political group the Weather Underground. Living with the fugitive activists in a safe house for three days, the filmmakers interviewed them about their ideological opposition to the American government and their personal paths to the controversial Weather Underground. Wexler, the cinematographer, was forced to film the activists either from behind or through a scrim to conceal their visual identities.

When the film became known to the FBI, de Antonio, Lampson, and Wexler were subpoenaed and ordered to turn over all of their negatives and tapes. The filmmakers argued that the subpoena violated their First Amendment rights, and represented prior restraint. After they were backed up by the ACLU and numerous Hollywood stars including Harry Belafonte, Warren Beatty, Jeff Bridges, and Mel Brooks, the subpoena was dropped. The completed film Underground was released in 1976. That same year Folkways released the soundtrack to the film, which includes the entire audio of the documentary. Liner notes offer a detailed account of the filming process, written by Peter Biskind and Marc N. Weiss.

Track Listing

101
Statement by the Underground Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 4:13
102
Violence Is Necessary: H. Rap Brown, Malcolm X, M.L. King, Jr., F. Castro Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 7:48
103
The Viet War: Ho Chi Minh, N.T. Dinh, J. Ford Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 6:58
104
SDS, Chicago 1969, Days of Rage Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 6:16
201
Attitudes of the Underground Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 6:46
202
Self Criticism Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 2:41
203
Puerto Rico-"Mongo Affair" Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 3:03
204
Making the Film Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 3:27
205
We are Professional Revolutionaries Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 2:17
206
The West 11th Street Explosion Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 8:39
301
Capitol Bombing- Returning Medals Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 5:18
302
Fear and Commitment Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 4:13
303
Class Origin and Class Stance Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 1:20
304
The Publication of The Praire Fire Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 4:06
401
Make Up of Capitalistic Power and the New Revolution Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 3:16
402
The Prison Movement and Attica Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 2:20
403
It Is The People Who Make The Change Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 1:28
404
We are a Small Organization Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 0:51
405
Interview at a L.A. Unemployment Center Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 7:48
406
Why We Are Communist & Speak Collectively Emile de Antonio, Mary Lampson, and Haskell Wexler with the Weather Underground 3:15

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