Disaster & Crime Documentaries:

Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst

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Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst on DVD
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GUERRILLA is an unprecedented account of the Symbionese Liberation Army, arguably the most otorious and flamboyant terrorist group in American history. Dedicated to the rights of black prisoners and the working class, the S.L.A. set forth in 1973 to incite the violent overthrow of the US government, brilliantly manipulating the mass media to advance their message. Their audacious kidnapping of Patty Hearst, the young heiress of her family's newspaper empire, inspired what might be described as the first true media 'frenzy,' one that only exploded further when Patty transformed into "Tania" and joined the ranks of the S.L.A. Every detail of their descent into the surreal outer limits of political extremism was played out in public, a spectable foreshadowing some of the worst excesses of modern TV journalism. Thirty years later, the S.L.A.'s extraordinary two-year crime spree resonates as a parable of political idealogy run amok, the role of the media in America, and the romantic fantasies fo modern political terrorism. 


"Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people!" declared the Symbionese Liberation Army, the domestic terrorist group that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst and demanded a massive food program for the poor in exchange for her release. Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst examines this sensational case with a measured, sardonic view of every side; the SLA was born in the crucible of the Vietnam War and Kent State, but the documentary neither forgives nor condemns their actions (which include bank robbery, bombings, and murder). Instead, the SLA and the media bonanza that surrounded them become an astonishing petri dish of social and political trends that resonate with even more force today. Using interviews with reporters and surviving members of the SLA, footage from news reports and Hollywood movies, director Robert Stone (Radio Bikini) has crafted a smart, suspenseful thriller that mesmerizes even if you know the whole history. A superb documentary; the dvd is even better as it includes uncut footage from the security cameras of one of the bank robberies; the sentencing of the 2003 trial of four SLA members; complete audio recordings of Patty Hearst's media statements; and a balanced, thoughtful commentary from Stone. --Bret Fetzer

DVD Special Features * Audio Commentary by Director Robert Stone * The Patty Hearst Tapes (Audio) * Footage: Hibernia Bank Robbery * Deleted Scenes: Sacramento Courthouse * Theatrical Trailer * Photo Gallery * Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Release date Australia
December 9th, 2005
Movie Format
DVD Region
  • Region 4
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
Length (Minutes)
  • Documentary
Original Release Year
Product ID

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