Saturday, October 19, 2013

Documentary Revisits Princeton's Turbulent Vietnam Era Days

Where else would a film titled I Grew Up In Princeton premiere?

The feature documentary by Brad Mays debuted last night at Princeton High School. He began the project several years ago as a video journal for the 40th-year reunion of the Class of 1973, and it grew from there once he got footage from one fellow former student recalling some anti-Vietnam War demonstrations.

Mays made the choice to include no narration. Instead, he spent many, many hours editing down his footage of interviews with 60 current and former Princeton residents to revisit how the community made it through the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s. There's also some archival footage mixed in.

Several of those interviewed by Mays were centrally connected to anti-war protesters targeting the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a federally funded facility in Princeton that was later shown via declassified documents to have recommended against the use of immoral weapons in Vietnam. From a recent report on

In a tearful interview, Robert Leibler, the son of then-IDA director Richard Leibler, says that he has a clear memory of those student protest days. “I was only 10 at the time. Somebody threatened to kill my sister and myself. I went to school in the back of an unmarked police car with two detectives,” he relates before asking that the camera be turned off.

Mays, after spending some time working in Los Angeles, is now based in Hollywood, Florida.

[I Grew Up In Princeton]

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