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Protesting the Dixie Chicks

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Bush Rocks
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Mama Bear, Baby Bear & Papa Bear Protesters, Dallas Texas
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Burned Tickets in Tampa, Florida
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Canadians Dig
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Indie Grits Film Festival, Andy Smith
May 31, 2007

"While Barbara Kopple's Shut Up and Sing was good, many people complained that it was too much of a publicity piece about the band and didn't do much to address the controversy. Fleeger, with much less access than Kopple, gives us a much more creative and entertaining film."


Review in COUNTRY WEEKLY by Chris Neal
February 27, 2007

Documentarian Christopher Fleeger followed the Chicks' 2003 arena tour all over the country, recording the thoughts of the sign-carrying folks who gathered outside the shows to protest or support the controversial trio. The result is an artful, melancholy film that nicely complements last year's brilliant Chicks documentary Shut Up and Sing (which depicted what was going on backstage inside those same arenas). Protesting demonstrates how one country star's offhand remark ignited a passionate argument about the meaning of freedom and patriotism.


Review in TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT by Mark Hinson
December 1, 2006

Free speech, God bless it, isn't pretty to watch in the new DVD "Protesting the Dixie Chicks."

On the eve of the war with Iraq in March 2003, Natalie Maines, the outspoken lead singer of the pop-country group the Dixie Chicks, told an audience in England that her group was "ashamed" to be from the same state as President George W. Bush.

Maines was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. Bush was born in New Haven, Conn., when his daddy, who was born in Milton, Mass., was a student at Yale.

None of that mattered at the time.

Maines and her band were tried as traitors in the media.

You may have heard about it (see review of "Shut Up & Sing" on Page 7).

Tallahassee filmmaker Christopher Fleeger, who now lives in San Francisco, was paying attention to the Texas tempest. He picked up his camera in May 2003, when the Chicks came back to the States for a tour, and followed the band around Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and California.

In the guy-on-the-street tradition of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot," Fleeger interviewed anonymous fans and anti-fans outside the arenas on the Chicks' route. He then compiled them for his new one-hour DVD-only release, "Protesting the Dixie Chicks" (available for $20 through www.protestingthedixiechicks.com).

Watching the DVD with the hindsight of December 2006, it's hard to know whether to cry or laugh.

Laughter is certainly the way to go when Fleeger stops in Southern California where one happy fellow points out how many attractive, boyfriend-free, cowgirl-clad women are filing into the concert hall.

"Those Republican guys aren't here . . . so it's Playboy city," he says and grins.

The sidewalk scenes turn hostile, no surprise, when Fleeger drives to the South and stops in cities close to military bases. In Tampa, protestors call the Chicks "Saddam's Angels" and taunt two ticket-holders by shouting: "Hey look, matching fags!"

In Bossier City, La., home to Barksdale Air Force Base, Fleeger interviews cheerful radio DJ's who love Natalie and the girls because their anti-Chicks, CD-crushing rally was such a hit.

To help lighten the mood, Fleeger re-enacts the CD-crunching mob using plastic toy dolls. And he employs Natalie Maines and Toby Keith action figures during transitions. There is nothing more absurd than a Toby Keith action figure.

It's not rated but contains profanity.

FACM (French Association of Country Music)
CHRONIQUES CD / CD REVIEWS

Voici un documentaire exceptionnel sur l' " affaire Dixie Chicks ". Comment l'Amérique a vécu les paroles de Natalie Maines, la chanteuse du trio : " Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas " (Nous avons honte que le président des Etats-Unis soit du Texas). Paroles dites en 2003 à Londres, qui leur on valu un boycott en règle. Le documentaire est parfaitement bien fait, car il ne prend pas partie, mais nous donne les opinions et les versions de différents clans : les fans des Dixie Chicks, ceux qui l'étaient mais ne le sont plus, ceux qui ont honte des Dixie chicks, ceux qui supportent le président mais qui aiment la musique des dixies, etc…Un documentaire passionnant. Pour ma part, si elles avaient eu le courage de dire cela aux Etats-Unis, et même plus précisément au Texas, cela aurait probablement changé la donne. Mais en auraient-elles eu le courage ? La politique et la musique sont deux choses différentes, et il est bon de laisser les spécialistes de chaque catégorie agir dans leur camp. Sommes toutes, j'aime beaucoup quand Toby Keith chante " the angry american "…
Un film de Christopher Fleeger
Florent

http://www.countrymusiccd.fr/news11.htm

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Note: Our email has been flooded with people writing about how strongly they are in support or against the Dixie Chicks, thinking that this is a propaganda film taking a certain side of the issue. We urge you to take a deeper look. This film is a documentary in the traditional sense, not a moral statement of any kind.


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