The First Amendment Project

"OK"

The First Amendment Project Review


Purportedly an insightful look into how the First Amendment is being trampled by the conservatives in power, this triptych of 20-minute short films comes off as a brief primer on civil rights and little else.

The three stories start strong and quickly peter out. The first, and by far the most interesting, follows Al Franken's experience as the butt of a lawsuit from Fox News, after Franken put a photo of Fox star Bill O'Reilly on his book and used Fox catchphrase "fair and balanced" on the cover. O'Reilly and Franken got into a screaming match, and Fox went to court. Fox lost, dismally, and Franken earned national notoriety with a bestseller. The lessons -- about what is protected speech and what is not -- are interesting and important.

The second and third stories are far less interesting. Mario Van Peebles directs a story about New Jersey's poet laureate Amiri Baraka (yeah, Jersey has a poet laureate!), who came under fire for writing a poem that blamed 9/11 on America, the Jews, and just about everyone else except Al Qaeda. Outrage sparked demands for him to quit his post, though the resolution (nothing much happened and people forgot about the whole thing when they realized they had more important things to do) doesn't make for good cinema. The final story borders on lame: Director John Walter documents protestors at the Republican National Convention and asks us to be horrified when some bicyclists are arrested and police set up metal barricades which make it hard for the protestors to move around freely. Shocking! While I'm all for freedom of assembly, I'm even more for freedom of automobiles on city streets.

It's hit and miss, but worth watching for the Franken bit alone. The DVD also includes Baraka's complete poetic performance, extra interviews, a deleted scene, and comic strips from the Fox vs. Franken incident.



The First Amendment Project

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Wednesday 1st December 2004

Distributed by: Docurama

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.