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Shut Up and Sing (Full Screen - American Version)
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This documentary captures the female country-&-western group the Dixie Chicks in performance around the U.S. and London between the years 2003 and 2006. While performing in 2003 singer Natalie Maines ignited a maelstrom of controversy and red-state rage when she declared--from a London stage on the eve of the Iraqi conflict--that she was ashamed President George W. Bush was from her home state of Texas. When a rabidly right-wing group picked up on it the band found themselves in the center of controversy regarding the nature of patriotism freedom of speech feminism and the split between pro- and antiwar Americans. Filmmaker Barbara Kopple brings us the fly-on-the-wall view of the next three years: we find Haines and sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire in dressing rooms on stage and in recording studios bonding with each other their families producer Rick Rubin and their supportive manager Simon Renshaw. Through the crises they keep their sense of humor and sisterhood not backing down from their liberal stance and turning the backlash into a triumph. They also make some great music and the film includes plenty of riveting intense footage of the band in performance onstage and in the studio. Among the faces appearing in archival footage are President Bush Bill Maher and rabidly right-wing country star Toby Keith.Format: DVD AUDIO Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. UPC: 796019799294 Manufacturer No: 79929
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Top Customer Reviews
What I found most interesting in the first half of this documentary is that nobody ever tries to make sense out of the comment made by Maines, specifically about being ashamed that Bush was from Texas. I mean we are talking about a state that has the most executions each year, so you would assume it is a state that would extend the idea of justice being served even if it extends to the other side of the globe. Later in the documentary a woman at a Dixie Chicks concert holds up a sign proclaiming, "You Were Right.Read more ›
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Well, you are in luck, because "Shut Up and Sing" is a documentary focusing on that very question.
It all began with a little zinger, a bit of nothing really, directed at some president or another. But... that zinger irritated me. You see, I like my music with soul, but hold the politics, thank you very much. When ensuing boycotts were bandied, I was amused. Turnabout is fair play. But then something spooked the herd and... good God, the entire genre of country music went stampeding off a cliff. I was not amused.
"Shut Up and Sing" makes us all Dixie Chicks. Through the camera's eye, we become one of the girls as they move from slinging free speech, to receiving free-flowing hatred, to shifting into (my favorite) a reasoned, measured fight mode. Along the way we discover that the Dixie Chicks are loved wives, loving moms, supportive friends, amazing artists and... the target of crackpot death threats. Who said that was okay?
America didn't. I didn't. And I bet you didn't either.
From this evolution of events, we witness the genesis of the next Dixie Chicks album "Taking the Long Way." With producer Rick Rubin, the Chicks put voice to their American experience. The top of the charts and five Grammy nominations followed.
Question: What do the Dixie Chicks, Abraham Lincoln, and a man standing in front of a line of Chinese tanks have in common?
Answer: They are all my heroes.
I must say there were many times during this movie that I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. I took my daughter to see it (warning there are some curse words) and she really liked it. Afterward, she wondered why it was such a big deal for Natalie to make a statement. Even for a primary aged kid, she was aware of Freedom of Speech and the reaction just didn't make sense to her.
The best thing in the movie was to see how the Chicks drew strength from one antoher during this ordeal. I think that so much of the reaction to the statement was gendered. Yes, the US was going through this pseudo-patriotic time, but the ways in which the DC were attacked often was filled with sexist tropes.
I'm buying this movie as soon as it comes out and will be showing it in two of my classes. One class looks at globalization and the other is a gender and politics class. I think the nativist and xenophobic reactions by some of the "haters" will cause interesting discussion in class.
Overall, I'm hoping that more people will come to enjoy their music and respect that they stood by one another. I can't wait to see them again in concert. I'm a long time fan of the DC.
These women who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past for numerous American causes, were suddenly deemed female Benedict Arnold's, or even worse "Jane Fonda's," oh my!! Did I miss the part in the constitution where American;s can't be critical of the president when they are in England? What federal statute did Maines break?
The good news is that the attempt by the right wing lynch mob to put the Chicks out of business, has failed miserably. The Chicks just swept the Grammy Awards, have an album that spent several weeks at #1 last summer, and just completed a tour that in spite of initial trouble selling tickets, ended up grossing more than thirty million dollars, and being attended by over five hundred thousand fans around the world.
"Shut up and Sing" is a great documentary. Not only is it informative, it is also very funny in parts. Natalie Maines has a wicked sense of humor. Sadly, those with an axe to grind take what she says in jest and use it against her. Just look how nuts the Chicks' haters got over the "heh heh" remark at the Grammy's? Jeez folks lighten up.
When you finish this film, you will truly wonder what happened to the country that you once knew. The rabid Dixie Chicks haters clearly confused the concept of boycotting, with demanding CENSORSHIP!
"Taking the Long Way" did not win the five Grammys because of "liberal Hollywood." It was the best album of 2006. Nashville's top music critics voted it "Country Album of the Year" two weeks before the Grammy's.
Long live the Dixie Chicks. They are to free speech what Rosa Parks is to civil rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!