At the height of their success, as the cameras were rolling on a documentary about their current world tour, and George W. Bush was laying out plans to invade Iraq, the Dixie Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience that she was ashamed to be from the same state as her president. It was a statement warmly greeted by the British crowd to which it was made, but one which triggered a career-debilitating controversy back in America (particularly amongst their red-state fan base). This controversy, the band's and its handlers' attempts to control it, and ultimately their acceptance of it, becomes the narrative focus of Kopple and Peck's Shut Up & Sing, which greatly benefits from the drama. Kopple and Peck allow Maines and her girls to turn what might have been a fluff piece on the Dixie Chicks' moving from triumph to triumph into an intriguing study of what happens when a person puts their foot in their mouth and receives a national boot in the bum for doing so.
Continue reading: Shut Up & Sing Review
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.