Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shouting moron: Ward featured in Sundance free-speech film

Cinema Blend:
Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech explores free speech in America by addressing contemporary cases in which the First Amendment has played a very significant role. The documentary not only looks at how free speech has been challenged in our country, but also how willing or unwilling Americans are to give up civil liberties in exchange for national security in a post-9/11 era.

Filmmaker Liz Garbus speaks with her father, First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus as part of the narrative for the film. Garbus takes us through the era of McCarthyism as well as other pivotal times in our nation’s history when the First Amendment was put to the test, using his own personal experiences as well as other historical references to lay out the story. The film also cites various cases from recent years, including Ward Churchill being fired from his job as a professor at the University of Colorado after he wrote in a blog post that the people who died in the World Trade Center were, “a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire” and calling them “Little Eichmanns.” . . .

Between Garbus’ stories and the cases mentioned above, we’re given a pretty decent variety of examples to demonstrate the issues surrounding our First Amendment rights. What’s interesting is seeing just how much 9/11 has impacted the way Americans view the First Amendment. In addition to showing news footage and the like from each specific case explored in the film, Ward Churchill, Debbie Almontaser, Chase Harper, Ruth Benn, Ed Hedemann as well as others are all interviewed to give their personal perspectives on the cases and in some instances, to make sure their side of the story is heard. . . .
Yeah, Ward's really had problems making sure his side of the story is heard.

No comments: