Shut Up & Sing
Winter 2007 Documentary series
Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 7:00pm
Directed by Barbara Kopple
Starring Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire, Rick Rubin, Simon Renshaw
Rated NR ·
This documentary captures the female country & western group the Dixie Chicks in performance around the U.S. and London between the years 2003 and 2006. While performing in 2003, singer Natalie Maines ignited a maelstrom of controversy and red-state rage when she declared — from a London stage on the eve of the Iraqi conflict — that she was ashamed President George W. Bush was from her home state of Texas. When a rabidly right-wing group picked up on it, the band found themselves in the centre of controversy regarding the nature of patriotism, freedom of speech, feminism, and the split between pro- and antiwar Americans.
Filmmaker Barbara Kopple brings us the fly-on-the-wall view of the next three years: we find Haines and sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire in dressing rooms, on stage, and in recording studios, bonding with each other, their families, producer Rick Rubin, and their supportive manager Simon Renshaw. Through the crises, they keep their sense of humour and sisterhood, not backing down from their liberal stance, and turning the backlash into a triumph. They also make some great music, and the film includes plenty of riveting, intense footage of the band in performance onstage and in the studio. Among the faces appearing in archival footage are President Bush, Bill Maher, and rabidly right-wing country star Toby Keith.