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The People Speak (Extended Edition)


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The People Speak (Extended Edition) + A People's History of the United States + A Young People's History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror
Price for all three: $42.82

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Product Details

  • Actors: Howard Zinn, Matt Damon, Viggo Mortensen, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover
  • Directors: Howard Zinn, Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002W1HBNO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,655 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The People Speak (Extended Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

Behind the scenes at the Cutler Majestic Theatre
Celebrity interviews

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

THE PEOPLE SPEAK is a beautiful and moving film inspired by Howard Zinn s books A People s History of the United States first published in 1980 and one of the bestselling history books in the United States and Voices of a People s History of the United States, the primary-source companion to A People s History of the United States, edited with Anthony Arnove.

The film features the actual words (in letters, songs, poems, speeches, and manifestoes) of rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past and present including Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Bob Dylan, Langston Hughes, Chief Joseph, Muhammad Ali, and unknown veterans, union workers, abolitionists, and many others never featured in high school textbooks. These dramatic moments from our history are brought to life by a group of remarkable musicians and actors.

Like Howard Zinn s work as a whole, THE PEOPLE SPEAK celebrates the extraordinary possibilities for creating social change that ordinary people have realized throughout the course of our nation s rich but often ignored history of dissent and protest.

THE PEOPLE SPEAK is produced by Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove, and Howard Zinn, co-directed by Moore, Arnove and Zinn, and features dramatic and musical performances by Allison Moorer, Benjamin Bratt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Robinson, Christina Kirk, Danny Glover, Darryl DMC McDaniels, David Strathairn, Don Cheadle, Eddie Vedder, Harris Yulin, Jasmine Guy, John Legend, Josh Brolin, Kathleen Chalfant, Kerry Washington, Lupe Fiasco, Marisa Tomei, Martín Espada, Matt Damon, Michael Ealy, Mike O'Malley, Morgan Freeman, P!nk, Q'orianka Kilcher, Reg E. Cathey, Rich Robinson, Rosario Dawson, Sandra Oh, Sean Penn, Staceyann Chin, Van Dyke Parks, and Viggo Mortensen. Narrated by Howard Zinn.

Special Features

  • Behind the Scenes at the Cutler Majestic Theatre
  • Celebrity Interviews

Amazon.com

The History Channel's The People Speak combines a documentary with a stage show and a concert. The material comes from Howard Zinn's bestselling books, particularly A People's History of the United States. As Zinn narrates, photographs and illustrations alternate with readings and performances that took place in Boston and Malibu, California, between 2008 and 2009 (Zinn passed away in 2010).

Producer Matt Damon, who grew up next door to the history professor, starts by reading from the Declaration of Independence, followed by other notables, among them Morgan Freeman (as Frederick Douglass), David Strathairn (John Brown), Marisa Tomei (Harriet Hanson Robinson), Sean Penn (Kevin Tillman, the brother of Pat Tillman), and coproducer Josh Brolin (Mark Twain). Others include Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover, Kerry Washington, Benjamin Bratt, Rosario Dawson, and Don Cheadle, most of whom play several parts.

Some of the finest readers, however, aren't actors. Run-DMC's Darryl McDaniels, for instance, appears visibly shaken as he reads from "David Walker's Appeal." Except for Bob Dylan's croak on Woody Guthrie's "Do Re Mi" and the edit that splits John Legend's version of the traditional "No More Auction Block" in two, the songs all work well, particularly Eddie Vedder with Dylan's "Masters of War" and Bruce Springsteen with Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," the only selection recorded sans audience (Zinn doesn't mention it, but "Auction Block" inspired Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind"). Supplements include cast interviews and a featurette in which Damon notes that he originally envisioned the production as a television miniseries. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

This is a beautiful history from the bottom, our history.
Iconsofclasswar
Hearing the words of everyday people that helped change our society in this country makes me proud to be in America.
Rob C.
Good to remember that people worked so hard to get what freedom and rights we have.
Tomoko Murphy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Susan B. Anthony on December 13, 2009
Format: DVD
If Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" is your type of history, this is a must have for your collection. The primary sources are good and the performances are powerful. Teachers might like this as a companion to teaching the use of primary source documents. Zinn gives the right amount of context to the pieces so that they make sense.

This review is based on the program that aired on The History Channel.
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73 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Rob C. on December 21, 2009
Format: DVD
I watched the video and plan to buy the book for myself and others.

It's sad to see accusations that Zinn loves to leave out information (even though his facts are true) when our school system teaches history without most of the mitigating facts.

We as a society can never grow if we cannot look upon our past actions in the context of truth.

Hearing the words of everyday people that helped change our society in this country makes me proud to be in America.

Name calling and accusations about such a fine work mystifies me, but so does slavery, why women were not able to vote, and treatment of Indians and so on.

I applaud the work of Howard Zinn and others who show the True beating of hearts in our democracy.
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58 of 69 people found the following review helpful By J. Yanowitz on December 14, 2009
Format: DVD
(This is based on the version that aired on History -- this DVD is that plus more).

This is a fantastic approach to U.S. history -- the words of real people who struggled to make their lives (and ours) better; read by a fantastic line-up of actors. These are the voices that are too often left out of U.S. history.

If you like Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, you'll like this. If you don't know that book, check out this movie (watch it with others!) and then go read the book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Iconsofclasswar on May 21, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I find it somewhat difficult to express how impactful this film was on me. I've seen a lot of films. I don't know how many exactly, but it's into the thousands. This film probably left the deepest impression upon me that any film has. I read all of the critical reviews. After seeing the film I can so easily discard them. This was an amazing film to say the least. The musical performances, though they weren't of musicians that I particularly care for, I found myself very moved by them. One of the critical reviews here claims that there is a highlight of the bad things in America. The critical reviews are so feverish that it raises the question to my mind; "Did they even see the film?". This is a beautiful history from the bottom, our history. I find it shameful for these reviewers to disgrace our history. And it is OUR history. I will set aside my bitterness of those who seek, for whatever reason, to omit our history from our schools and from our minds, to say only this: WATCH IT! DECIDE FOR YOURSELF! HAVE FAITH IN YOUR ABILITY TO JUDGE FOR YOURSELF! DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU NOT TO WATCH IT! It's important.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 1, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A number of actors, musicians., etc. read writings and letters by the
rebels of American history, like John Brown. Others read quotes showing
some of the darker side of our history, like Abraham Lincoln's early
determination NOT to free the slaves. And still others read words by
unknown 'regular people' commenting on their times.

Mixed with this are political folk songs old and new performed by
Eddie Vedder, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others.

Moving and informative, this is not, 'fair and balanced', nor does it
pretend to be. The idea is to take a specific perspective on America,
from the time of the Declaration of Independence on, as a
nation forged, and constantly changed by rabble rousers and
revolutionaries, from Thomas Jefferson to Fredrick Douglas to Susan B.
Anthony.

I was fascinated and disturbed to read the vitriol that this project
has brought out from the right, and the mindless knee-jerk
counter reactions from the left - quickly degenerating into the old
'you're a commie who hates America!' 'Oh yeah? Well you're a fascist
who hates what America stands for!' childish spats.

Zinn and his approach is neither the first nor last word on American
History, but it surely raises important questions, and teaches ideas
that were certainly not part of my public school education. (e.g. the
fascinating distinction between the Declaration of Independence as a
more revolutionary, idealistic document ('All men are created equal') and
the Constitution, which was more conservative, and enshrined ideas such
as slavery, and voting as only for white males as part of the very basis
of the country).
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Mcelwain on June 29, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm watching this (and reading Zinn's "A People's History...) with my 10 year old daughter. I'm so grateful to be able to share this with her. Zinn is the history prof I missed in my education, but with the video (and the book) my daughter can get a different perspective on US history that can help to make her a thinking person. The performances on the DVD are inspiring. Thanks, Howard.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Fireborn on January 28, 2010
Format: DVD
I was astounded by this dvd! Powerful and important. Have I been living so long with my head in the sand - ignorant of what the poor and unprivileged people experienced through out American history? Sad how so many relevant voices from the past have routinely been squelched by the powerful and inconsiderate. Thank you Zinn for giving them voice and doing the research to bring a bit of equality to our understanding of history
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