The Year That Trembled

The Year That Trembled

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“The overall feeling of the period is just right, and the performances are highly affecting. This is more believable than most depictions of the period because the politics are informed by historical reflection.”

—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Lush cinematography and stellar performances perfectly capture the zeitgeist of this troubled time. The experienced cast makes the most of the film's subtleties and dramatic high points. Brandis and Hinkle are especially fine in portraying their dangerous attraction."

—Julie Washington, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Jay Craven's The Year That Trembled gets it just right—the era, the home front, the conflict, the characters. I was more moved than by a dozen Hollywood efforts that skate over Vietnam as if it were a plot point rather than a country and a war we have still not recovered from. At a moment when history is rewinding itself for more military adventures in countries and cultures we do not understand, The Year That Trembled is a film I hope Americans will see.”

—Peter Davis, Academy Award winning director, Hearts and Minds

“The Year That Trembled deals with matters that Hollywood won't touch, and gets people thinking about a dramatic piece of our history that has been largely forgotten. What happened at Kent State was a microcosm of what happened to the nation. TYTT’s yong characters have their lives changed, and we get to know them up close—their loves, their fears, their dreams. This is an unusual film.”

—Howard Zinn, author, The People’s History of The United States

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A film by Jay Craven (2002)
Based on the novel by Scott Lax
Starring Jonathan Brandis, Marin Hinkle, Jonathan Woodward, Fred Willard, Henry Gibson, Martin Mull.

THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED is a 1970 coming-of-age story set on the American “homefront” during the Vietnam War. Three teenagers, fresh out of high school and fearful of the impending draft lottery, experience a year that transforms their lives.  Caught up in the anti-war upheaval at Kent State following a guerilla theater action, they meet a young college activist who takes refuge at their summer farmhouse, hoping to sidestep an FBI investigation triggered by the Kent shootings. Next door, a young couple also struggle over war-related complications. She loses her high school teaching job. He launches a civil suit on behalf of the Kent State victims and struggles to decide about military service as he tries to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Kennedy. Confronted by the challenges of the War and the complexities of the counter-culture, no one emerges unscathed. Choices are made, emotional boundaries transgressed, and innocence is lost.



For communities, towns, cities, institutions, private libraries, and state agencies that want to show the film to a public audience. Any time you are showing this film outside the confines of your institution you must buy the rights to a community screening.  The director and members from the movie are also available to travel to your town and be part of a Q and A after the screening. To inquire and book a screening Click HERE.

For private screenings (in your living room). No public screening rights are given with purchase of personal use DVD. This price is not for organizations/schools or institutions. 

For public libraries only. Private colleges and universities must buy the educational package.