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No Umbrella: Election Day in the City (2006)

Cleveland, Ohio. Election Day 2004. An irascible octogenarian inner city councilwoman takes on polling place chaos, an unresponsive bureaucracy and an increasingly agitated electorate.


Laura Paglin
4 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Jane Campbell Jane Campbell ... Self - Mayor (as Jane Campbell)
Fannie Lewis Fannie Lewis


"NO UMBRELLA - ELECTION DAY IN THE CITY" is an unblinking look at the 2004 Election Day failures in one of Ohio's poorest neighborhoods. In the most hotly contested state in the country, gridlock at inner city polls ignites tempers and sets off charges of conspiracy. "NO UMBRELLA" drops us squarely into the chaos. We watch the irascible octogenarian councilwoman Ms. Fannie Lewis as she takes on polling place breakdowns, an unresponsive bureaucracy and an increasingly agitated electorate. Written by Laura Paglin

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Documentary | Short

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What many were thinking, few dared to say
23 March 2006 | by mdm-11See all my reviews

This short film is testimony to countless Americans who felt that the 2004 Presidential Election was deliberately manipulated by various officials to suppress the anticipated turn out of the "wrong kind of voters". Purely by accident the director, expecting to document the voting process of an Urban Precinct in Cleveland, became an instrument of exposing a national problem.

In a democracy, people depend on fairness. When a basic right such as participating in the political process is tampered with, citizens tend to lose faith in their "system". Americans have been lied to, apologized to, then lied to again. "Without An Umbrella" gives voice to those who won't be heard unless their cries are magnified to gain the needed attention. As an important piece of American History, the shameful way in which hundreds of thousands of voters have been discouraged from casting their votes needs to be remembered, so that the future can be free of the subtle ways in which equality is only a word. Many Americans in influential positions are actively fighting against equality. What better way to keep the fight alive, than to fight against Democratic policies, the very policies that have achieved civil rights. Only someone profiting from inequality would continue to find ways to fight equality. The truth is, nobody benefits from inequality. As a nation we can not afford to continue on paths that don't see America as a nation of Americans.

The "main character" in this film is Clevleland's legendary Council Woman Fannie Lewis. I had the pleasure of meeting this "voice of the People". Her genuine concern for the wellbeing of all people is a rare quality. Miss Lewis' wisdom shines through her plain talk that just makes sense. Gentle and kind, yet persistent when she is sure to be given "the run around". The presence of their Counsil Woman made gave many of the people waiting for hours to cast their vote the strength to "hang in there". Hats off to Fannie Lewis, and to all who were involved in the production this wonderful short film. You gave many people the encouragement to move on.

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January 2006 (USA) See more »

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Election Day in the City See more »

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