At the conclusion of Freida Lee Mock’s 2014 documentary “Anita,” gender inequality crusader and Clarence Thomas accuser Anita Hill offers a glimpse at the bright future she’s long worked toward.
“We really have been building on an understanding of what equality means, whether we fight to gender equality or racial equality or equal rights based on sexual identity,” Hill says. “We have a much better understanding of what it takes to get there in 2011 or 2012 than we had in 1991.”
It’s an upbeat, forward-thinking end to a film often riddled with painful memories for both Hill and its audience.
Just four years later, that optimism has been replaced by an uneasy deja vu.
Next week, it’s expected that both Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault during their high school years, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Now, Mock’s documentary takes on a new urgency, providing a window into what happened nearly three decades ago and how little things have changed.
On the eve of a critical election in 2004, Michael Moore released “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a hand-grenade of a movie that made many liberals giddy and many conservatives apoplectic.
Here we go again.
At the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, Moore unveiled “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a spiritual follow-up to his George W. Bush-era bombshell, which remains the highest-grossing documentary in history.
The new film, which The Washington Post was given an early look at, has similar techniques as its predecessor: using its director’s colorfully incredulous voice to expose the complicity of the political system and maybe sway an election in the process.
But unlike in that film, a Republican president is only one of Moore’s targets. As many shots as he takes at President Trump, the provocateur filmmaker is also eager to expose a Democratic establishment he says has not done enough to push back against the White House or advance a progressive agenda.
“One of the reasons I made this movie is that I’ve come to the conclusion that the old guard of the Democratic Party is a greater roadblock to social progress than Trump is,” Moore said in an interview. “Because they’re taking half-measures, because they’re beholden to the same money and interests.”
“Active Measures” could hardly be more perfectly timed. It’s a documentary that digs into the relationship between Donald Trump and the powers of Russia, and while it’s not as if the film comes up with some smoking gun that Robert Mueller hasn’t yet, it fills in the Trump-Russia connection in a dogged, rigorously reported, eyebrow-raising way.
The movie is a follow-the-money exposé, and the director, Jack Bryan, lays out the roadmap of cash by making bracing and detailed connections between all the forces at work: Vladimir Putin; the oligarchs he placed under his thumb (except for those who wouldn’t cooperate — he got rid of them); the Russian mobsters who are enmeshed in the workings of the Putin government; and Trump himself.
“Active measures” is a phrase used in Russia to describe political warfare by the security services to influence the course of world events, but the movie says that if you want to understand the collusion between Trump and Russia – don’t focus on the 2016 election. The collusion goes back decades, and that’s its real meaning.
The title “Reversing Roe” may be unsettling (if not a bit alarmist), but the possibility of a Roe v. Wade reversal unfortunately became very real once Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the United States Supreme Court in June.
Just in time, the Oscar-nominated director/producer team of Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern (“The Devil Came on Horseback”) have teamed up once again for a look back at the landmark Supreme Court decision, and the factors that led to the current political climate — and its threat to reproductive rights.
Taking a somewhat neutral approach to its controversial subject matter, “Reversing Roe” aims to help audiences understand what’s at stake if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned and uncover the motivations of both sides.
In his B-grade review of the film, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote that the film “sharply dissects the process by which abortion soured from a private medical issue to a public political one.”
“Reversing Roe” premieres on Netflix on September 13.
Michael Moore has released the first trailer for his upcoming documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9.”
The trailer shows Moore spraying Flint water into the front yard behind Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s gated driveway, and Moore speaking with David Hogg, the activist student who survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, 2018 and progressive Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won a stunning victory in a New York primary earlier this summer.
Moore also describes Trump as the last President of the United States and includes footage of Trump rallies and neo-Nazi protests.
He began shooting the film last year with the “11/9” in the title referring to the day Trump was declared President of the United States on Nov. 9, 2016. Moore correctly predicted that Trump would win the White House by winning the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
“Fahrenheit 11/9” arrives in theaters on September 21.
One month ago, Anita and her five-year-old son, Jenri, were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. “I haven’t talked to him—I know nothing about my son,” says Anita in the trailer for an upcoming Atlantic original documentary. “This whole thing is a nightmare.”
But pro bono attorney Jodi Goodwin is fighting for Anita. The film, premiering in August, follows Goodwin as she leads a team of lawyers pressing the government to reunite the more than 2,500 children still separated from their parents— including Anita’s son.