Anthony Giacchino uncovers a gripping lost chapter in the history of human rights activism with The Camden 28, a confident and astute reminiscence about a predominantly Catholic group’s efforts to defy the Vietnam War by compromising the Selective Service System. More than 30 years after they were tried and cleared of breaking into a Camden federal building in a botched attempt to destroy draft records, these men and women are still the coolest cats in the room, recalling from the same courtroom where they were prosecuted how their nonviolent resistance to the war was a moral duty consistent with their Catholic faith. Howard Zinn, purveyor of truth and a witness at the Camden 28’s trial in 1973, once again fiercely defends the group’s anti-war protests, likening their actions to the bold measures taken by the participants of the Boston Tea Party. Most of the film, though, takes place outside the courtroom via a smooth and exciting mix of hi-def interviews and archival footage through which the moral and spiritual struggle of the Camden 28’s decision to confront the government’s sick exploitation of the city’s underprivileged comes alive. Giacchino gets at many of the same points as Fahrenheit 9/11 but does so with the grace that continues to evade Michael Moore.
- First Run Features
- 83 min
- Anthony Giacchino
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