Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dixie Chicks & Barbara Kopple's documentary "Shut Up and Sing"



In cutting footage, I aspire to convey character & storyline as effectively as Kopple does in the trailer for her new doc Shut Up and Sing.

The story follows the band Dixie Chicks in the wake of their controversial remark made days before the US invaded Iraq (2003).

The trailer conveys a perspective but not so much it seems force fed. And based on Kopple's previous non-fiction work, one could reasonably expect she'll handle the free speech issue more directly -vs- offer 90 minutes of anti-Bush redundancy.

Band member Natalie Maines'comment initially embarrassed me & I'm not sure why. She made that highly publicized anti-Bush statement just days before the US went to war. I thought America seemed nervous & uncertain enough without them taking advantage of their popularity to stir-the-pot.

Yet even those well attended by the media have rights. And the depicted backlash to their music & well being indicates America forgot the band can speak their mind like the rest of us.

At the time, the Dixie Chicks were performing on a London stage in a city potently filled with anti-Bush opinion. Maybe it's logical for them (or Natalie...) to have shared their remarks to affiliate with their London audience.

But I think Natalie's remark hit me the way it did at first because as American celebrities, it was an easy shot to make from across the Atlantic. But was it just an off-hand comment to bond with the Brits? Or was it more ulterior with hopes for increasing focus on their tour? Or was it their (or singer Natalie Maines') true political voice chiming through with the confidence of free speech behind it?

I'm compelled to see the film.