Movie Review: 1971 (2014)

PBS Documentary will have you on the edge of your national security state

1971The story of a notorious 1971 activist burglary of an FBI office that lead to exposing the Bureau’s numerous abuses against dissidents.

“In 1971, long before Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA surveillance, a group of [young antiwar activist] citizens broke into a small FBI office in Pennsylvania, took every file, and shared them with the public. Their actions exposed the FBI’s illegal surveillance program of law-abiding Americans. Now for the first time, these anonymous Americans who risked everything share their story publicly.”

This movie is a white-knuckle ride through late 1960s and early 1970s America, when brutal national-security-state fascism was no longer a dream of the power elite… it was a stark reality. Thanks to the War in Vietnam and the militaristic regime of Richard Milhouse Nixon, millions of young Americans had to face the grim reality that, as John Lennon put it, the world was indeed “being run by insane men for insane purposes.”

Nor was that an easy pill to swallow after growing up in the 1950s, the first generation in history for whom television became a constant companion and window to the world. My goodness, we were raised on the modest morality plays Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, and Ozzie and Harriet… all very WASPish [white Anglo Saxon Protestant] Hollywoodized families, where amusement was the main objective—coloring over any real concerns about mind-control media, big government, or the military industrial complex. Or even how life was for those outside the bubble.

It was extremely conformist, let me tell you, and thinking back I’ll wager the biggest reason for wanting us to see the world through giant rose-colored glasses came from our parents. Especially our fathers: who had been through a war that saw death camps as SOP and ended with the US dropping atomic bombs on civilians. The need to forget was strong, and the post-traumatic stress disorder of that particular era seemed to respond well to Madison Avenue-induced materialism all ’round. “Forget your troubles, come on get wealthy.”

Nonetheless, among the people were percolating many liberating ideas. Knowing what I know today, I can drop into casual analysis of those ideas as well as the ‘deep state’ or ‘overworld’ forces that were covertly being amassed to crush any real individualism or freedom. As for the analysis, let’s not and say we did. Suffice it to state that the machinations of the elites—using the killing of JFK as a springboard—were walkin’ in some mighty high cotton as Vietnam hit its peak. And they wanted to keep it that way.

The year 1971 was a watershed point in the conflict between the psychotic warlord state and the people—much like our time today… with the exception that the manufactured consent machine was relatively primitive in the 70s and people stepped out of line to protest, en masse, when leaders were caught committing or covering up major crimes. Like the Gulf of Tonkin or My Lai. The antiwar movement was in high dudgeon. And the Men of the Power Sickness were basically freaking out. And just as today, these mobsters and control freaks only felt comfortable when they had everyone under their thumbs.

The documentary 1971 is a true story… of American citizens who stepped up and exposed the evil crimes of their government… at great risk to their own futures. What’s more, their revelations actually resulted in some government investigation and reproach at the highest levels. A Senate hearing of all things. Today we’ve crossed over. At some point in the previous 15 years or so, I came to realize that if a movie about a government agency crime or conspiracy ended by being reported to another, ostensibly justice-oriented, government agency it was pure fantasy. There are no longer any justice-oriented government agencies.

Anyway, 1971, a thought-provoking documentary that will have you thanking your lucky stars for Edward Snowden and Bradley/Chelsea Manning…

SM16Just a thought.

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