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Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Crime, History | 23 April 2014 (USA)
Chris Drew, street artist and activist, was selling art for $1 in downtown Chicago to protest the Chicago Peddlers Ordinance since he believed Art is Speech, a First Amendment Right. Those ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Himself
Joshua Kutnick ... Himself
Deborah Drew ... Herself
Mark Weinberg ... Himself
Joe Podlasek ... Himself
Robert Wapahi
Elaine Nekritz ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Diana Berek ... Herself
Puppet Bike ... Himself
Curtis Black ... Himself
The Bucket Boys ... Himself
Andy Finko ... Himself
Barbara Iverson ... Herself
Tim Jackson ... Himself
Robert Lederman ... Himself
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Storyline

Chris Drew, street artist and activist, was selling art for $1 in downtown Chicago to protest the Chicago Peddlers Ordinance since he believed Art is Speech, a First Amendment Right. Those charges were dropped and replaced with a serious Class One Felony Eavesdropping charge, for audio recording his own arrest. Nine police officers with a Homeland Security detail arrested him. With 2 pro bono lawyers, he challenged for over 2.5 years in court, The Illinois Eavesdropping Law,which carried a 4 - 15 years in prison if convicted. His case and cause drew nationwide and even international attention. Both traditional and social media covered the unbelievable case of C Drew. This is a true story. Written by Anonymous

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Art IS Speech! See more »


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Not Rated
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23 April 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Free Speech - Chris Drew  »

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A total of 9 police officers were at the arrest of Chris Drew, for selling art for $1, Chicago, on State Street in front of Macy's. A section of the Homeland Security Detail. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absorbing viewing for anyone concerned about threats to citizen protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights
28 September 2015 | by See all my reviews

This documentary presents artist Chris Drew as a likable Everyman we can easily relate to. As its narrative progresses, viewers become just as convinced of Chris's extraordinariness. When he is arrested for using Chicago streets as a platform for selling art for $1, his documentation of the arrest entangles him in a Kafkaesque web of police overreaction and misplaced prosecutor zeal.

In relating Chris's struggle, Nancy Bechtol employs devices that are both various and visually engaging, juxtaposing street and interior footage with personal interviews, creative captioning of text, and simpatico original music. The sure-handed weaving together of materials leaves one with an up-close picture of an artist whose willingness to put everything on the line for art and free speech invites us to be inspired.

The endpoint of Chris's journey easily elicits tears as much as outrage. "Free Speech..." is absorbing viewing for anyone concerned about threats to the citizen protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the actions that can be undertaken, at great personal cost, for their preservation.


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