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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.
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 KimSee all Editorial Reviews
- 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
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Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was always a lightning rod for controversy. She was the only person who had the courage to stand up for what is right, even though it was very unpopular at the time. Years later we now know that McKinney was right from the very beginning. The United States wouldn't be on the verge of collapsing if we had only listened to Cynthia McKinney. Our education system has failed, our health care system is imploding, our government is corrupt at every level, we've let our veterans down, and we have lost the war in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Where would we be today if we had not only listened, but stood up and demanded the truth like McKinney?
I'm proud to say that I was a Cynthia McKinney constituent and supporter. American Blackout should be viewed by history buffs, and for anyone who is interested in knowing what REALLY happened.
Highly recommended. I especially liked the clips of a grotesquely coiffered Tucker Carlsen repleat with bow-tie (soooo tacky...) pontificating about the 'outrageous' Cynner. I often wonder if he ever had to take one for the team....
McKinney is nothing if not controversial. She takes on the government, big corporations, and the media in order to get at what she believes is the truth. In this aspect her work needs to be applauded. The thesis that there is a concentrated effort to diminish Black and Latino votes is a relevant one which needs more discussion.
The film is a powerful one that makes its viewers think. The problem with a film of this type is that it is often not seen by a large segment of the population. This is a small film that is worth looking for. See it for yourself and encourage others to see it. Let the debate and discussion begin. It's time to end the blackout.