Friday, June 19, 2009

See: Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech

I had the privilege last night to attend a screening at the Newseum of Liz Garbus' (picture at right with her father) new HBO documentary “Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech”. It is excellent and I wish everyone in the United States would see it for Ms. Garbus reveals that brilliance of this First Amendment’s prohibition against government restriction of free speech and the concomitant obligation of each citizen to daily insist the government recognize that limitation on its power. . .

The documentary is better described then I could by sundance.org:
During the 1950s, McCarthy’s red scare closed down avenues of dissent for a decade. Americans were pitted against one another. Political opinions became ammunition. Since 9/11, the First Amendment has again been under attack. Liz Garbus’s Shouting Fire, a riveting exploration of the current state of free speech in America, is crucially relevant. Interweaving historical cases—The New York Times’s fight to publish the Pentagon Papers and the Nazis' insistence on marching in Skokie, among them—with contemporary free-speech infringements, the film documents the way both the Right and the Left have lashed out in fear. In the stories of a left-wing professor fired for provocative remarks about 9/11, an Arab American principal made to resign after discussing the word ""intifada,"" and Christian schoolkids suspended for wearing Bible-quoting T-shirts, there’s an ironic pattern. When threatened by an outside enemy, perceived or real, we often demonize each other, undermining the very freedom we seek to protect. We think of First Amendment rights as inviolable; in fact, they're profoundly vulnerable. Mixing vibrant pacing with an elegant journalistic style, Garbus orchestrates this urgent matter like a rallying cry for action. As her father, legendary attorney Martin Garbus, wisely warns, if we don’t fight for our freedoms every day, we will lose them.
It is airing repeatedly on HBO in July. Watch it!


Post a Comment

Play nice!