ACLU Hosts Shut Up & Sing Screening in Houston

November 15, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

The Weinstein Company and ACLU of Texas Will Host Special Screening of Dixie Chicks Documentary and Discussion with Filmmaker

HOUSTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas and The Weinstein Company will present a special preview screening of the new Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up & Sing on Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Landmark Theatre, 5 Greenway Plaza in Houston.

“Democracy is most alive when it not only allows for, but welcomes dissent. In a time when the administration labels its critics unpatriotic simply for disagreeing with them, this film is a critical demonstration of why the right to speak out is fundamental to our freedom,” said Will Harrell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas.

The film, from two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck, chronicles the lives and careers of the Dixie Chicks, from the peak of their popularity as the national-anthem-singing darlings of country music and top-selling female recording artists of all time, to unintentional rebels, vilified for daring to speak out against a president at the height of his popularity. In 2003, the group’s lead singer Natalie Maines made a now infamous anti-Bush comment that sparked a national campaign against the Dixie Chicks. The film follows the Dixie Chicks over  the three years that followed that comment, chronicling how they coped with the ongoing firestorm, while continuing to live their lives and make music.

Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck say that for them, “This film is a story of three artists, mothers and citizens who refused to be silenced. The journey we took with the Dixie Chicks in the aftermath of their criticism of the President’s war policy is the story of our country right now. As we watched these women standing up for their beliefs, in the face of death threats and boycotts of their music, we saw a spirit of courage and integrity that was deeply American.”

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with co-director/producer Peck and moderated by Mike Oeser who is an attorney, ACLU of Texas Board Member and a law professor at the University of Houston. A members’ reception will directly follow at Mykonos Restaurant at 2181 Richmond Avenue in Houston.
 
The film opened in New York and LA on October 27 and in select cities beginning November 10. It opens in Houston on November 17.

To read more about the ACLU’s work on free speech issues go to www.aclu.org/freespeech.

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