|Index||6 reviews in total|
This movie shows the truth behind the bush presidency, in certain ways
more scary than "Farenheit 9/11". It shows John Ashcroft in his true
colours. And the truth about what really happened to the "detainees".
This fairly homemade movie is very compelling when it comes to the
issue of the patriot act, which is also very scary. I now hate the bush
presidency more than ever. If you have a chance to see this movie, you
really should, it is very informative. I saw the premiere of this movie
in Wisconsin, so I have been looking for it for a while on IMDb. I have
to say I would give it:
For Informativity: 5 out 5
4 out 5
Over All: 4 out of 5
Making its television debut on one of the darkest days of American history--Election Day, 2004--Unconstitutional takes a look at the passage and implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act, a piece of legislation that none of our duly elected legislators were allowed to read before they voted on it. To their undying shame, the vast majority of those legislators, cowed by the bullying of the Bush administration, voted for it anyway. The result? We have all been stripped of many of the civil liberties we have long taken for granted. Concentration camps in Guantanamo (and, undiscussed in this film, elsewhere), American citizens held uncharged and incommunicado in South Carolina naval brigs at the behest of the American Imperator, sneak and peek searches...and now we have four more years for Karl Rove and company to add even more onerous restrictions on our freedoms. Watch this and weep.
This movie is disturbing because it is purely factual and it documents insidious activities (carried out by the Bush administration) that are taking place this very second in a country that claims to support "freedom." People are being detained without any access to family or legal representation and they haven't even been charged with any crime. People's privacy is being trampled all over as the government secretly searches library records, e-mail conversations, phone records, etc. without notifying people. The government is infiltrating peace groups...the list goes on. See this movie and find out how your civil liberties are in serious danger.
As we all have had it imprinted in our minds, some three thousand
people were brutally killed on September 11, 2001 in the worst
terrorist attacks ever perpetrated within our country. But the
destruction of buildings, commercial jets, and human lives may not have
been the only things we lost that day. A mere six and a half weeks
after 9/11, a 345-page piece of legislation fell into the laps of all
535 members of both the House and Senate, and it was passed into
law--without a single member in either chamber reading a page of it!
That legislation was the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing
Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, or
USA-Patriot Act. But as producer Robert Greenwald and director Nonny De
La Pena tell us in the 2004 documentary UNCONSTITUTIONAL: THE WAR ON
OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES, the Patriot Act is not about either uniting or
strengthening America, nor is it truly patriotic--in fact, it is quite
Part of Greenwald's "UN" trilogy about the malfeasances of the Bush administration (a troika that includes UNCOVERED: THE WAR IN IRAQ, and UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 ELECTION), UNCONSTITUTIONAL focuses squarely on what history will likely decree as the fulcrum of George W. Bush's eight-year term as President, the Patriot Act. What we learn over the course of its 68 minute running time, however, is something that we thought we'd see only in the totalitarian governments of the past: a curbing of basic civil rights, and a specific targeting of those with an Islamic background, done specifically because the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Islamic extremists--despite the fact that the vast majority of the Islamic population in America wants nothing to do with political terrorism of any kind. And lest anyone think that this is just another "bleeding heart liberal" tract against the Bush cabal, the film features interviews from people with diverse political ideologies, notably very liberal Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, and former Georgia congressman and noted far-right winger Bob Barr--both of whom decry what the Patriot Act has done. And we are also witness as to how the Patriot Act has led to the revival of sinister government surveillance activities against "our enemies" that we thought had long since been buried with Watergate, but which, because of our silent consent to the Bush Administration's wishes, have crept into our lives once more. And all of this has been draped in the American flag, and crafted for the purposes of National Security--a fairly nebulous term even during the best of times, and a dangerous, sinister, and false thing in our post-9/11 world.
UNCONSTITUTIONAL makes its point, in a low-key, matter-of-fact way, that the alleged success of the Patriot Act is, in fact, an illusion. Neither our security nor more importantly our liberty are in any way guaranteed or safeguarded by this heinous diktat. And unless we make it a point to put this false sense of security on the ash heap of history, we will lose not only the War On Terror but also everything about America that makes us truly strong--our freedom.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It is hard to watch a movie like this without liking or disliking this
movie because of your personal politics. This movie isn't objective in
its discussion of how things were handled. This movie does malign Bush,
the US Justice Department, John Ashcroft, et al.
This movie shouldn't really be called a documentary, as that is supposed to be objective and present the sides of those being maligned. This movie comes off more as an editorial composed of selected opinions on the topic of the United States' response.
However, as an editorial it is a stunning piece of film despite its budget. The best thing about this film is the clarity brought by the editing. It is extremely informal and easy to follow. Combined with quality narration, it comes together quite nicely. I also find it easy to watch and entertaining, not a quality I demand of films like this. It achieves its primary purpose, to inform and to persuade.
As to the politics of the film, I find this isn't a left-right issue in so much that its not about what I would have thought would be characterized as a partisan polarized topic two decades ago. I think those of the right wing that out of hand discount the facts of this film are apologizing for an administration that has galvanized them in many other ways. People want action, but they often forget that action without thought and without law quickly becomes tyranny.
** My political take ** I consider myself a swing voter, and I find what is going on and what is talked about in this film to be an atrocity. I have voted conservatively and democratically as well as independently. I think before one goes and votes in 2006 and 2008, they should check out this film, and regardless of which side you vote for, vote for candidates that promise to repel the patriot act and prevent these things.
** to the reviewer talking about why this film sucks because of its view on midnight deportations ** The reviewer got it totally wrong. These deportations were occurring silently without any attempt to determine if these people were legally allowed to stay for reasons of political asylum. And, it was only 10 minutes of the film. It was not about whether or not they were illegally here, in any case, it was more about how these deportations were done and without any investigation into their claims of asylum. Thats the heart of the issue, totally ignored by this reviewer.
** to conservative voters ** As an American citizen, I believe if you choose to vote, you have an obligation to vote in an informed way, to a certain degree. This film talks about things I think every voter should be aware of, and this film is a good way to get that information. This isn't standard left wing stuff, these are things that both platforms should be against.
A must see, especially for conservatives who never took the time to
understand where this was all going because they were too busy
panicking over the next terrorist attack. They've invalidated the
Constitution in the name of fear. Lets hope the majority will wake up
and smell the coffee someday.
I read the released version of the patriot act, and it is at least what is depicted in this documentary.
Yes, this documentary has spin, but so do school text books.
The fact is there is no reason to go without civil liberties for citizens when very few citizens have ever been detained for terrorist activities using the partriot act.
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