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The People Speak (Extended Edition) (2010)

Howard Zinn , Matt Damon , Howard Zinn , Chris Moore  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The People Speak (Extended Edition) + A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present + Voices of a People's History of the United States
Price for all three: $38.95

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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002W1HBNO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,361 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

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

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Zinn, you'll like this 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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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth in History - what a concept December 21, 2009
By Rob C.
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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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic approach to American History 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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Important Film I Have Ever Seen 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Howard Zinn 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
5.0 out of 5 stars The People Speak 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price, guick delivery
I love it, glad I found it. Have been searching for a while, great price also, thank you very much
Published 2 months ago by Kevin K.
1.0 out of 5 stars Forget It.
Don't waste your time with this third-rate America basher. Someone should take up a collection and buy Zinn a one-way ticket to Cuba.

William Chase
Published 4 months ago by william chase
5.0 out of 5 stars Balance your perspective of history!
This film presents moments of US history as they happened. Passionate actors take on the roles of those people on whose backs this country has been built. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kerry Fina
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the history that only a few know about
A great DVD that will blow you away with the facts and the performances. The power of Howard Zinn's work came to light again when the former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniel's emails... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gary Fritz
5.0 out of 5 stars The People's History in Audio and Video
Howard Zinn's vision of the importance of the common mans struggle is caught in the vignettes of the film. Read more
Published 11 months ago by David L. Crandall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
it's good. Slow at times though. It is a great supplement to the book. Great for students who do not really like to read.
Published 13 months ago by Zachary O Safi
5.0 out of 5 stars "This video will kick your ass."
Matt Damon said it best in Good Will Hunting. It's the history that history forgot, but thanks to Howard Zinn and company it's back and presented in the most authentic way... Read more
Published 18 months ago by thornquist22
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a treasure
I suggested this DVD to my bookclub as something different and everyone loved it. The actors bring Zinn's words to life in a highly memorable and moving way. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Karen Devers
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic short version of the book, "The Peoples History of the...
I'm still reading through the 700 page "The People's History of the US". It's an excellent read but in these times it's hard to get the time. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Tricia Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Inspiring!
Historian Howard Zinn wrote a book "A People's History of the United States," which I have just put on my Amazon wish list as a result of this wonderful documentary. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Barbara Frederick
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