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Movie Review: Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

Alternate Title: From Heiress to Anarchist (and Back)

Story: If you are under 40 you will probably scratch your head in disbelief at this absorbing documentary about the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst in 1974. If you did not live through this bizarre event in US history you will think we were all delusional and taking one too many hallucinogen (not that some of us were not under the influence).

Director Robert Stone (American Babylon, Radio Bikini) unwinds and explains some of the mysteries of the case through interviews with people involved in the story and a few of the radicals who were a part of the Symbionese Liberation Army and fascinating file footage of the events that took place over the course of 100 days in 1974-75.

The big question of course is whether Patty Hearst suffered from Stockholm Syndrome (the captive begins to align themselves with their captor) or whether she was just having the time of her life after 19 years of just being a rich kid with no political thoughts of her own.

The story by itself is fascinating but also of interest is the beginnings of the 24/7 media frenzy that we all sadly have to live with today.

Acting: Not applicable in the documentary category.

Predilection: I followed this case closely at the time and still read about Patty Hearst if her name appears in print.

Soundtrack: True to the times.

Theater Audience: Two other people and us. Apparently not that many people are as fascinated with this case as I am.

Drift Range: Not for a nanosecond.

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: No nits to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: If you are absorbed by this case, check it out on the big screen. The last scene is very funny. Patty Hearst returned to her heiress life and has gone on to write a book about her experience and has appeared in a number of John Waters' films - A Dirty Shame, Second Best, Cecil B. Demented, Pecker, Bio-Dome, Serial Mom and Cry-Baby.

Length: 100 minutes.