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Filmmaker Robert Greenwald “Heavily Into Production” On Documentary About Abbie Hoffman, Activist And Counterculture Icon

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald “Heavily Into Production” On Documentary About Abbie Hoffman, Activist And Counterculture Icon

Exclusive: It’s been more than 40 years, but filmmaker Robert Greenwald remembers the call that came in from a man on the run. The caller, one of America’s most famous fugitives, used an assumed name.

“Robert, it’s Barry,” the man said in a gravelly voice. It wasn’t long before Greenwald discerned he was speaking with Abbie Hoffman, the “radical” leftist whose conviction in the celebrated Chicago Seven trial had been vacated. But a pending drug charge had prompted Hoffman to go on the lam.

“He would never say ‘Abbie’ [on the phone] because he was underground and assumed all the phones were tapped,” Greenwald recalls. “But I figured out pretty quickly that ‘Barry’ was Abbie.”

After that initial call Greenwald and Hoffman got to know each other and met up on occasion, in less than clandestine circumstances. Sometimes the setting was Venice Beach, not in a darkened café, but out in the sunshine,

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