The Camden 28 | Chicago Reader

The Camden 28

Anthony Giacchino's dramatic 2006 documentary revisits the 1971 burglary of a draft office in Camden, New Jersey, by Catholic pacifists protesting the Vietnam war. Ratted out by one of their own, they were caught red-handed, and 28 plotters were brought up on felony charges; incredibly, some of them rushed to comfort their betrayer after his son suffered a fatal accident. The ensuing trial revealed that the feds had used their mole to further the plot, which ultimately persuaded a jury to acquit all of the defendants on the basis of “overrreaching government participation.” The video lapses into self-congratulation near the end, as many of the principals reunite for a 2002 retrospective, but for the most part this is a powerful tale of conscience, betrayal, and forgiveness. 82 min.

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