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American Blackout

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Most people have heard of the voting irregularities that marred the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Some even know of the resulting challenges to the electoral votes by African-American congressional representatives. However, because the mainstream media shies away from reporting cases of imperiled democracy the public is left to believe these stories are at worst insignificant rumors or at best one-off incidents that result from an overburdened election system.

American Blackout chronicles the recurring patterns of disenfranchisement witnessed from 2000 to 2004 while following the story of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who not only took an active role in investigating these election debacles but also found herself in the middle of one after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Some call Cynthia McKinney a civil rights leader among the ranks of Shirley Chisholm and Malcolm X. Others call her a conspiracy theorist and a "looney." American Blackout gains unprecedented access to one of the most controversial and dangerous politicians in America and examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence political dissent.

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The right to vote represents one of the strongest elements of democracy within the United States. With his documentary American Blackout, Ian Inaba shows that while voting is a right many Americans take for granted, it's something that's still not a given for many of America's citizens. With his thought-provoking film--which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival--Inaba shows through interviews, documents, and startling images of African Americans waiting in the rain (only to be falsely told they're too late to vote) how districts are systemically trying to exclude blacks from the voting process. By focusing on controversial congresswoman Cynthia McKinney--who has been a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush and his administration--and a few others, Inaba doesn't lose the viewer with too many subjects. Whether or not your political views align with McKinney's, it's difficult not to question some of her opponents' motives for twisting her words, especially pertaining to 9/11. Though no one will be surprised that this film was shot on a low budget, the lack of bells and whistles doesn't take anything away from the production value, which is compelling in its stark reality. --Jae-Ha Kim

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Special Features

  • Capitol Hill Police Officers Speak Out on McKinney Incident
  • 19 Minute Activist's Tool
  • American Blackout: Ohio 2004
  • Deleted scenes with discussions
  • "True Lies" animated short featuring Taalam Acey

Product Details

  • Actors: Taalam Acey, Cynthia McKinney
  • Directors: Ian Inaba
  • Producers: Jean-Philippe Boucicaut, Anastasia King, Jeff Hull, Stephen Marshall
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Disinformation
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2006
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GYHRHE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,232 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Blackout" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Z. Jilani on September 22, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When you hear the name "Cynthia McKinney," it probably draws images of madness and lunacy. Why wouldn't it? After all, ever since she was elected to the Georgia state legislature, the media and moneyed forces across America have spent their time slandering her with every accusation possible. They don't want a woman who asks too many questions, who demands too often to stand by the downtrodden and oppressed. That's just dangerous.

This film explores the life and career of the Congresswoman as well as the voter suppression in 2000 and 2004. Congressman John Lewis is interviewed, and explains the struggles he went through as an activist to get voting rights for "colored" people -- only to have them being systematically stolen again through computerized voting machines and, as the BBC's Greg Palast calls it, "election apartheid."

What kind of liberal democracy are we living in when thousands are turned away from the polls because their district's voting records are controlled by rich people far away? What kind of nation are we living in when simply questioning the President's motives get you casted as a lunatic "conspiracy theorist" (to be vindicated years later when leaked documents show you were right)?

We need to make this a country "of the people, by the people, and for the people." McKinney will continue that fight, even as a non-legislator (although as the movie shows, she is well-capable of winning back her seat once a dirty campaign and Republican votes unseat her once).

Watch the film, educate yourself, and join the fight. We need to save any ounce of American democracy left.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Atlas Moth on January 9, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one documentary that hasn't received the attention it deserves. To paraphrase journalist Greg Palast, the Democrats may have won in last year's mid-term elections, but the integrity of our elections lost again. The topic of 'American Blackout' is as timely as ever, as the last two presidential "elections" and the last two mid-term "elections" have demonstrated that the American public will sit idly by as election fraud destroys the last vestiges of their democracy.

This is also a good documentary to show to anyone who thinks the U.S. has solved most of its race problems. The neoconservatives revived Jim Crow in 2000 and 2004. Watch the deleted scenes on the DVD and you can also see how racist the Washington, D.C., police force is. Even if we no longer have de jure racism, if we have racist law enforcement, then we have de facto racism.

I could go on, but I think this documentary should speak for itself. Buy it. Watch it. Show it to your friends.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martin Shackelford on January 10, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Much publicity has been given to "hanging chads" and media-publicized details of what went wrong with the elections of 2000 and 2004, but votes vanish every election in America. This documentary, and Greg Palast's book American Madhouse, detail how it is done, and how it can be prevented. A must-see and must-read for everyone who believes in American democracy for all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Green on January 4, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is well worth obtaining. Cynthia McKinney has been called all sorts of names and accused of being aggressive, abrasive and rude because she continually insists on representing her constituents and the American people in Congress (what a daring stance in the era of Corporate control of our government). She won't bend over or back down to the corruption. Cynthia McKinney tells her side; you see her in her home having hide behind curtains and locked doors due to death threats; bravely campaigning against an ocean of money for her opponents who 'toe the line', asking the questions of Rumsfeld we all would like to know and being set up by the police with a phony charge. The police around the Congressional building are a real treat to watch as they continually pretend they do not recognize Cynthia (after years of being in Congress) as a sort of put down to her for her 'uppity-ness'. She represents the American people, and refuses to 'shut up'. This woman has an admirable amount of courage and it shows by how she lives her life and does her job. If you want to watch a video showing determination, courage and stamina in the face of overwhelming odds, this is the one. The opposition did it again in 2006, poured in money to her district to defeat her. But she'll be back. She is a hero, and deserves to be re-elected. Maybe the senate next time? Be a great improvement overe what is there now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Barricklow VINE VOICE on February 23, 2007
Format: DVD
The villians are smiling happily as they've disenfranchised the black voters while the Big Media Dumbed Down the citizenry. This has all been done for a very good cause: Big Business' bottom line profits, and WAR IS THEIR RACKET. More power to the crony capitalist, the big media, and the military industrial/congressional complex. Congresswomen Cynthia McKinney took on the enemy of the American citizens. The price was either: go along and take the people for what she knew was a ride, OR FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS.
She questioned the Bush Regime's involvement in events that led to 9/11. A recent Zogby poll has over 40% of New Yorkers asking her same questions. Still no answear! The Republicans spent One Million Dollars investigating a blue dress & $3,000 on 9/11! They don't want the truth found! The family members of 9/11 who tragically lost their loved ones WANT AN INVESTIGATION! WANT THE TRUTH!
Kathryn Harris and Blackwell fixed the elections and were REWARDED by the GOP!
Gore won in 2000. A USA GOVERNMENT COUP took place in Florida with the suppression of the black vote. It happenned again in 2004 with Ohio.
Good books on this are Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse & Mark Crispin's Fooled Again.
The Extras in this DVD are good including: Capitol Hill Police Officiers Speak Out On McKinney Incident.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
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