Through The Eyes of Women: Who Bombed Judi Bari?
“Who Bombed Judy Bari?” directed and edited by Mary Liz Thomson and produced by Darryl Cherney covers the story of a particularly violent event that occurred on May 24, 1990 in Oakland, CA, in which a bomb exploded under the driver’s seat of the car which Bari was driving and in which Cherney was a passenger.
The two had been prime organizers of the Earth First movement, which targeted the lumber companies that were then de-foresting vast areas of the Pacific Northwest by clear-cutting. Thomson and Cherney show us how, with creative organization, setting specific, attainable goals, and emphasizing non-violent protest, the Earth First movement succeeded in informing the public of the impact of large corporations despoiling the environment, and committing many to take action to save the remaining old growth forest.
Judi Bari herself is the emotional center of the proceedings, despite the fact that she died of cancer seven years after the incident. Much of the film’s running time consists of excerpts from a videotaped deposition, shot just weeks before her death, that she gave in court as part of a civil suit brought by her and Cherney against the FBI and the Oakland Police Department, who incredibly arrested them immediately after the bombing for the crime of of transporting explosives. The charges were later dropped. But who actually bombed the car remains a mystery.
Mary Liz Thomson is a filmmaker working in Los Angeles. She has a long history of involvement in politics and the film industry. In 1990, she co-produced and directed “Redwood Summer: Where the 90s Begin”, which aired on PBS. She documented the war zones in Central America, directed music videos with Island Records, worked for 60 Minutes, shot footage for the Academy Award winning documentary, Panama Deception, and directed a documentary, Flashpoint, about the alternative music scene in San Francisco, winning a “New American Makers” Best of the Year Award, and A “Local Hero” Artist Award.
This episode originally aired in 2013 and appeared here.
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