A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
I met Patty Hearst twice last spring at the Cannes Film Festival, once in a movie, and once in a restaurant. The effect was unsettling.
In the movie, “Patty Hearst,” she was a quiet, desperate person, so lost in her ordeal that she had no clear idea of any of her motives. A person willing to hold up banks and brandish machineguns simply because of peer pressure from terrorists who had forced her to join their group. In person, she was a pleasant woman in her 30s, joking about how she was trying to trade “Patty Hearst” buttons for festival T-shirts.
I talked to her for awhile, then drifted over to the corner of the room where I looked at her and tried to reconcile the two images, and finally realized that it was going to be impossible. Nothing in her previous life, and now nothing in her subsequent life, had any connection with the events that made Patty Hearst, at the age of 19, into the most famous fugitive in America.
Hearst was kidnapped by something called the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974, and the case and its aftermath, including her famous legal ordeal, lasted until 1979. Even today, it is hard for people to place it - I saw an article mentioning Patty as a figure of the ‘60s. And I doubt if the case has gone into any American history textbooks, since what did it grow out of, where did it lead, what did it prove? It was all just a very odd footnote to history.