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American Feud: A History of Conservatives and Liberals


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DVD-R Note: This product is manufactured on demand when ordered from Amazon.com. [Learn more]

Product Details

  • Directors: Richard Hall
  • Producers: Richard Hall and Simone Fary
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Littlebig Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D787VI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,028 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An entire political science course in 90 minutes, AMERICAN FEUD is the first historical documentary to trace the history of Liberalism and Conservatism in the United States.

Designed to appeal to a general audience as well as students and political activists, AMERICAN FEUD explores the back story of a political system seemingly in crisis.

"I began watching this with trepidation and ending in jubilation. This wonderful talkumentary is a scrupulously non-partisan, yet tough-minded celebration of democracy and a delightfully fiendish counterattack on the cant delivered from sides of the political spectrum. What's most striking about the film is how the better souls on both the left and right emerge as kindred spirits. Frequently hilarious, always honest, and very highly recommended!"

Ralph Peters, columnist and author of Looking For Trouble,
Adventures in a Broken World

Interviews with a diverse cast of characters give a nuanced picture of how two political philosophies have changed over time and suggest that mindlessly clinging to outdated ideas prevents us from having good government now and in the future.

Participants include:
* Kevin Phillips (former Republican strategist & author)
* Noam Chomsky
* G. Gordon Liddy
* Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?)
* Lee Edwards (Heritage foundation scholar of Conservatism)
* Howard Zinn (A People's History of the U.S.)
* Mona Charen (Useful Idiots...)
* Michael Barone (Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics)
* David Boaz (Libertarian leader)
* Michael Kazin (historian)
* Donna Brazile, (CNN commentator)
* Adrian Wooldridge (Co-author, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America)
* David Stoesz (Social Policy Scholar)

"This is a feud you want to get in the middle of...an accessible, wide-ranging review of how and why we came to use the labels "Liberal" and "Conservative" -- and what Americans can do to get beyond them."
-- Eric Liu, co-author of The True Patriot

Here's what you get in the DVD:
The 90 minute feature, which uses expert and man-on-the-street interviews, archival film, photographs, electoral maps, quotes, colorful graphics and music, and a little donkey and elephant to tell the history of Liberalism and Conservatism from the 1890's to the present.

60 minutes of DVD EXTRAS:
* 15 extra minutes of the Noam Chomsky interview
* Extra scenes including "Breaking the Stalemate" - an idea for fixing gridlock
* Producer/Director commentary track
* "Deleted Nuggets" 15 minutes of great interview clips from the cutting room floor
* Suggested reading list
* Behind the scenes time lapse wide shots of interviews (set-up and breakdown too)
* A secret hidden menu ("Easter Egg")

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
A timely film coming out at the perfect time of year, American Feud is a must see for the season.
Timothy Archibald
The filmmakers use their skill and humor to create an informative and entertaining documentary that makes a complex subject intellectually accessible.
William Heffley
American Feud provides a highly informative and slyly entertaining tour of the great debate between conservatives and liberals in U.S. politics.
Fog Cutter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mike on August 29, 2008
In the back and forth common to cable TV punditry, we tend to forget the serious complexities of American politics. Fary and Hall's American Feud revisits what is a deep history of American political ideology.

The book is obviously well timed for the election year cycle. But what appeals most is its refusal to reduce the discourse to focus group banalities that overwhelm reasonable discussion much less accurate definitions of the way American voters think and act.

The spectrum of writers, historians, and pundits featured in American Feud is impressive. From Thomas Frank to G. Gordon Liddy, the filmmakers have solicited opinions from the very people who shape mainstream thought.

Personally, I also liked the light-hearted format used throughout the film. It is an added benefit to have a documentary filmmaker who does not take himself too seriously.

As a professor of history with fifteen years in college classrooms, I would highly recommend the film.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Ungar on August 15, 2008
The thoughtful and articulate group Hall & Fary have assembled says a lot worth hearing. Noam Chomsky alone is worth the price of admission. The content may be weighty, but the presentation never is. "American Feud" moves right along, and what's more it's fun, thanks to the onscreen antics of a miniature donkey and elephant plus the producers' penchant for interrupting interviews with rapid-fire definitions and illustrations that clarify and provide historical context. If you want to go into this fall's election (or any election) as an informed voter, "American Feud" is "must" viewing.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marie-jo Binet on August 13, 2008
Highly informative and entertaining, the DVD AMERICAN FEUD is a must for any citizen who wants to learn more and think about American ideologies today: Where do we belong and why? What does it mean to be a Republican, a Conservative, a Democrat...? Hall and Fary created an efficient, artistic and thorough documentary that will give you a sober and comprehensive picture of our contemporary American political scene in 90 minutes. Never boring, organized around archives and a great variety of interviews, AMERICAN FEUD has to be shared with your family, friends and communities.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Archibald on August 27, 2008
American Feud investigates the history of Liberalism and Conservativism in United States. By combining a mixture of man-on-the-street interviews, in-depth interviews with experts, and light-hearted graphics, the film makers have created a documentary that successfully speaks to everyone.

Carefully balanced and unbiased, this film moves rapidly thru history and into the modern day, providing us with an easily digestible history lesson. No fan of politics myself, I found myself quickly engaged with the film, eased into the concepts and characters, and enlightened on the topic in a way I would not have expected.

A timely film coming out at the perfect time of year, American Feud is a must see for the season.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Fary-Moeller on August 6, 2008
Need to catch up on the history of partisanship in America? Tired of how liberalism and conservatism are overused labels that have lost their meaning? This movie is a concise but thorough review of how we came to the current idea of liberalism and conservatism and what they mean to today's society. This movie seeks to move beyond the idea that American is a nation where everyone can simply be labeled as "red state" or "blue state" and investigates if we really are as partisan as commonly portrayed in the media. There are interviews with liberal and conservative icons such as Noam Chomsky and G. Gordon Liddy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Noosphere on August 24, 2008
I have shown the documentary "American Feud - A History of Conservatives and Liberals" at our monthly Film Club. We are a group of people who have been meeting regularly to view and discuss films and documentaries relevant to the issues our society faces.

"American Feud" occasioned the most lively and interesting discussion we ever had.

I highly recommend this informative and entertaining film to civic minded groups and for family and friends gatherings. Viewing it together will lead to an interesting conversation on the principles and values upon which the country has been established and the present state of national politics.

This film, while showing our differences, encourages us to go beyond our divisions and to find a common ground for the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gregory J. Casteel on April 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
This is not an easy review to write, because I have really mixed feelings about this documentary. On the positive side, I enjoyed watching it; and it addresses a subject that really needs to be addressed: the meaning and significance of the labels "liberal" and "conservative" in modern American politics. To the best of my knowledge, no other documentary film adequately explores this issue. This film provides some very useful information; and it tries to be fairly evenhanded in its treatment of this controversial topic. This film would probably be suitable for use in high school civics classes, or perhaps even in freshman-level college courses in American Government. However, it is far too superficial for use in upper-level college courses.

There are some significant negatives to this documentary. First, the treatment is too subjective: Basically, prominent "liberals" and "conservatives" are interviewed about their understanding of what these terms signify. There is no real attempt to come up with a genuinely objective definition of "liberalism" or "conservatism" (if such a thing is even possible). This documentary tells us how (some) liberals view conservatives and how (some) conservatives view liberals, and how (some) liberals and conservatives view themselves; but it doesn't tell us what "liberalism" and "conservatism" really mean. Nor does it explore the many varieties of liberalism and conservatism; or any political viewpoint other than liberalism and conservatism. And it doesn't even attempt to address the highly controversial question of WHY some people become "liberals" while others become "conservatives". The second significant negative is that, although the film tries to be evenhanded, there is a noticeable imbalance between left and right in the interviews.
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