» » The Radical Story of Patty Hearst

Short summary

The transformation of Patty Hearst from kidnapped heiress to terrorist is a saga of privilege, celebrity and violence that gripped the nation. Over forty years later, firsthand accounts shed light on one of the most bizarre stories in modern American history. The series explores who Patty Hearst really is: victim or villain?

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Stoneshaper
    The documentary series, The Radical Story of Patty Hearst, was absorbing, great storytelling. Superb, first-rate. A person can watch it and come to either conclusion, that Patricia Hearst volunteered for urban terrorism or that all of her behaviour is the consequence of kidnapping and therefore excused. In the 1970s as a teenager, I thought all was excused and, even with this documentary, I still feel that way, with regards to the wise counsel of the great Jeffrey Toobin, who believes otherwise, and the splendid frankness of Bill Harris, one of the kidnappers. The documentary is, as well, a redemption for CNN signing onto that sloppy documentary, Holy Hell, which gave a fright for CNN's news integrity. All's well.
  • comment
    • Author: Danskyleyn
    By placing Bill Harris, a member of the SLA, as the primary narrator, the filmmakers imply that his assertions carry elements of truth. But we found his accounts highly suspect to say the least. Harris has an agenda: to recast this murderous group as earnest, well-meaning idealists, who never "meant" to harm or kill anyone, steal or kidnap. Harris tries to convince us that Patty Hearst became a willing participant and eager SLA member because they merely convinced her of the righteousness of their cause. In fact she was vulnerable and sheltered 20-year-old, who was kidnapped from her own apartment while her fiancé was brutally beaten, held in a closet blindfolded for almost two months, and raped. Then her captors selectively fed her information to convince her that her parents weren't interested in securing her release, even though it would mean she would be executed. (Harris denies they ever threatened to kill her, although Hearst's contemporary voice recordings clearly demonstrate that they had.) They convinced her that they were the only ones who cared about her. The conditions under which she was converted to their cause were clearly psychologically coercive. Harris comes off to us as a self-serving lowlife who clearly enjoys his moment in the spotlight.
  • Series cast summary:
    Bill Harris Bill Harris - Himself 6 episodes, 2018
    Mckenna Marmolejo Mckenna Marmolejo - Emily Harris 6 episodes, 2018
    Carol Pogash Carol Pogash - Herself 6 episodes, 2018
    Steven Weed Steven Weed - Himself 4 episodes, 2018
    F. Lee Bailey F. Lee Bailey - Himself 3 episodes, 2018
    David Bancroft David Bancroft - Himself 3 episodes, 2018
    Mike Bortin Mike Bortin - Himself 3 episodes, 2018
    Jess Hughes Jess Hughes - Kathy Soliah 3 episodes, 2018
    Brent A. Riggs Brent A. Riggs - Al Johnson / - 3 episodes, 2018
    Mikki Scott Mikki Scott - Herself 3 episodes, 2018
    Carol Westrick Carol Westrick - Herself 3 episodes, 2018
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