Please answer the following questions. Try practice using author centered language in your responses (i.e., "Directors...

Please answer the following questions. Try practice using author centered language in your responses (i.e., "Directors Sam and Siegel claim/portray/construct an ethos of the US Government as.../use ______ to support their argument/etc." Each answer should be approximate one paragraph in order to receive full credit. based on the movie " the weather underground".

1. What ethos do Green and Siegel construct of the Weather Underground? How to they ultimately portray them--as heroes, "thugs," terrorists, etc.? Do the Weather Underground come across sympathetically, and if so, how do the directors create sympathy for their cause?

2. How do Green and Siegel portray the U.S. government? What evidence do the directors use to depict the US government?

3. How do Green and Siegel incorporate footage of personalities like Martin luther King, Richard Nixon, etc. to support their claims about the US government and the Weather Underground or other anti-government groups (such as the Black Panthers)?

4. What, ultimately, do Green and Siegel conclude about the uses of violence? When is state violence and/or citizen violence justified? What, do they argue or imply, should people do to confront what they perceive as violent injustices committed by their governments?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

1. In their documentary, directors Green and Siegel portray the functioning of the Weatherme' a militant anti-war group in the United State from 1969 to 1977 that carried out many acts of vandalism against government and corporate property. Although the group has been much criticised for its aggressive and socially maladaptive ideology, the directors use the medium of their camera to cast light on other aspects of the radical group. They argue that even though the group never acquired the original popular support which it had expected to generate, it nonetheless originated in a belief in a utopian world of equality and disrupting the imperialist mechanism of the US state which was involved in waging wars in the Asia and Africa and South America. Using archival footage from the 1960s and 1970s of the government’s crackdown against the organisation and interviews with the former leaders of the organisation, the directors bring out other trajectories in the life of the group which shows them as idealist students rather than thugs who happened to throw a challenge to the state powers.

The directors show that contrary to assertions of terrorism, the Weather Underground did not intend to nor did it carry any acts of physical violence against human beings, aside from three of their own members who died in an accidental bomb explosion. Interestingly, they hoped to radicalise the masses towards building a Marxist-Leninist party which would overthrow the elite capitalist and imperialist factions that controlled the US government at the time. Thus, the directors very subtly shift the focus on the identity of the group as terrorists to those governed by a politically deviant ethos which adhered to a Maoist ideology.

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