Francesca talks with Glenn Silber about the acclaimed documentary he co-directed, The War At Home. It’s about the anti-war movement in Madison, Wisconsin from 1963 to 1972. First released in 1979, it’s been digitally re-mastered and re-released last year.
The War At Home chronicles the anti-war protest movement through the lens of its history in Madison, Wisconsin, with a powerful combination of rare archival footage and interviews with student leaders. Film critic Roger Ebert called it “one of the twenty greatest political films of all time.”
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Glenn Silber, The War At Home
The 1960s and early 1970s was an inflection point in American history, a time when the Vietnam War led to “the war at home.” Madison, Wisconsin was ground zero in that movement. At its height, it brought out thousands of students into the streets every day to protest a war they felt was utterly immoral.
In 1968, Glenn Silber started college at UW-Madison. A middle class kid from the suburbs, he joined the protests that embroiled the campus—not just the mass demonstrations against the war but also the Black Strike that resulted in the establishment of a black studies department at the University. And then, there was the Mifflin Street uprising, when, for the first time, students made a link between an immoral war abroad to the repression of the counterculture here at home.
After the war finally ended in 1975—not least because of the antiwar movement in Madison and all over the country—Silber stayed in Madison. There, he thought about what had happened during that movement and why. A film studies graduate, he ended up though an incredible series of lucky events, making probably the most celebrated documentary about the antiwar movement, The War At Home.
Nominated for an Academy Award and cited by film critic Roger Ebert as one of the “twenty greatest political films of all time,” The War At Home vividly chronicles the anti-war protest movement through the lens of its history in Madison through a powerful combination of rare archival footage and interviews with student leaders.
Glenn Silber is a long-time network television news producer who produced more than 80 prime-time newsmagazine stories for CBS News and ABC News, as well as several feature documentaries for broadcast on PBS. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, in addition to many other awards for his work as an independent producer/director and broadcast journalist.