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In 2003, the female country band, The Dixie Chicks, are at the top of their game being one of the most successful bands of all time. However with the US invasion of Iraq about to begin over frustrated worldwide objections about this needless war, one of the Chick vents off the cuff in concert about being ashamed of US President George W. Bush. This statement sparks a firestorm of organized and personal right wing attacks against the Chicks for daring to think they have the right to express a negative personal opinion about the President. This film covers the band's effort to ride out the turmoil that would leave their careers under a cloud, but would eventually give them a opportunity to grow as great artists who bow to no one. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Shut Up and Sing" is also the name of a best-selling book by conservative talk radio pundit Laura Ingraham. In her book, Ingraham skewers the Dixie Chicks and other musical acts who use their concerts and television appearances to voice their political opinions. See more »
Natalie is wearing a shirt that states "Dare to Be Free," in one shot the image is mirrored left to right. Evident in the text and her hair are reversed. See more »
Man on Phone:
They should send her to Iraq, strap her to a bomb and just drop her over Baghdad.
See more »
A great companion film to "The US vs. John Lennon," which I had seen a few days previously at the Toronto Film Festival, Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing looks back at the controversy that occurred when Natalie Maines told, quite off the cuff, a largely anti-war London audience (on the eve of the Iraq War) that she was ashamed that George Bush was from Texas. While one can understand how the Nixon gov't objected to Lennon's peace activism, it's frightening to consider how a seemingly innocuous remark by the Dixie Chicks would turn into an organized campaign by the religious right in the U.S. that would lead to their CDs being burned, country radio stations refusing to play their songs, and the absence of support (if not open hostility) from the country music industry. The film was the second runner-up for the People's Choice award at the Toronto Film Fest, but one wonders if it's release in the U.S. might not open some old wounds. The Chick's current tour is playing to smaller crowds and more Canadian dates, as their U.S. support--particularly in the country music strongholds in the South--continues to wane. But I think the film may strengthen their support from their new fans who may see supporting the Chicks as equivalent to thumbing one's nose at Bush and his intolerant supporters.
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