Unconstitutional - The War On Our Civil Liberties
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Unconstitutional - The War On Our Civil Liberties (2004)

Aquil Abdullah , John Ashcroft , Nonny de la Peña  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties is the new, hour-long documentary from Robert Greenwald – one of the most prolific and progressive producers in Hollywood – in conjunction with the ACLU. This new film, written, directed and produced by Nonny de la Peña, details the shocking way that the civil liberties of American citizens and immigrants alike have been infringed upon, curtailed and rolled back since 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act.

Autumn of 2001 brought us assaults against Americans' comfort zone on many fronts. We learned that we could fall victim to attacks on US soil, and we learned that those guarantees provided to us in the Constitution were equally vulnerable.

Unconstitutional is the third in a series of Public Interest Pictures films that follows Unprecedented: The 2000 Election and Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War. True to their legacy, Unconstitutional provides the facts and stories that illuminate administration lies, wrongheaded policies and the real victims of these actions – the American people.

Here, you'll get the real story behind the USA PATRIOT Act and other administration policies and the gut wrenching stories behind those affected – from law abiding sales clerks to United States Olympians unable to travel. It'll remind you of what America used to stand for and what it seems we're falling for now. In short, this film will affirm why you're angry and give you a tool to help others join your ranks.


Completing a trilogy that should be required viewing for all Americans, Unconstitutional explicitly reveals how the USA Patriot Act violates numerous civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Following the equally persuasive documentaries Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election and Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, this film presents powerful and tragic examples of how the USA Patriot Act--passed with virtually no Congressional debate just 45 days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01--has been used to justify the unconstitutional arrest of innocent immigrants based on Arab stereotyping; the illegal detention of vaguely defined "suspects" and their improper treatment (including beatings and torture) during extended confinement; prisoner abuse of alleged terrorism suspects in Guantanamo Bay military prison; the allowance of improper search and seizure without due cause; prohibited travel based on racial profiling; bully tactics employed with impunity by local police in efforts to undermine free speech; and other clear indications of the Patriot Act's unconstitutional enforcement. The more personal these stories of violation are, the more gut-wrenching is the realization that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft--and by extension, the George W. Bush administration--have used the Patriot Act to justify what is essentially a dictatorial police state.

Sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union and full of bipartisan testimony by lawyers, politicians, and victims of Patriot Act abuse, Unconstitutional makes an eloquent case for the careful interpretation of Constitutional law, exploring rising opposition to Patriot Act abuses while exposing how many of our freedoms have been undermined in the name of post-9/11 security. Regardless of your political affiliation, this is a chilling reminder of how seemingly good intentions can corrupt even our most cherished American values. --Jeff Shannon

About the Actor

About the Director:

Filmmaker Nonny De La Peña (The Jaundiced Eye, 1999) began her career as a journalist as a CNN intern and later became a stringer for Time Magazine and a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine. Deciding to pursue documentary film, Nonny became an Associate Producer for HBO and her first film Death on the Job was nominated for an Academy Award. Now a Producer/ Director/Writer with her own production company, Pyedog Productions, Nonny continues her tradition of investigative journalism for BBC's Omnibus & Inside Story, A&E's Investigative Reports, HBO's America Undercover and The Discovery Channel, among others.

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