The Rehabilitation of New Left Terrorists
This Friday marks the premiere of a new film directed by and starring Robert Redford, The Company You Keep. Along with Redford, the film stars Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, and many other top Hollywood actors.
Billed as a thriller, the movie is based loosely on Bill Ayers and the group that held up banks and pulled off the Brinks robbery.
In a 90-minute video interview with the New York Times, Redford was asked by the Times' David Carr what his motivation was for making the film. His answer was most revealing:
I was at the time very sympathetic to the Weather Underground, and I thought that their cause was just.
Redford clearly regards them as they themselves claim, as simply militant anti-war activists. Redford said that despair regarding their inability to end the war forced them to move in a new direction, and that “I disagreed with their turn to violence,” which he, like Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn do today, blames on the U.S. government -- which they argue on a daily basis unjustly killed and harmed more people than they ever did.
Indeed, in the film itself the Sarandon character -- obviously based on Kathy Boudin -- says essentially that, giving the same rationale that Ayers has given in scores of interviews.
Just today, Ayers again proceeded to offer a whitewash of his and the Weather Underground’s record, in a softball interview titled “Bill Ayers Uncensored” that appears on The Daily Beast/Newsweek website.