Watch Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech
- 1 hr 14 min
Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech is a 2009 documentary film that delves into the complexities of free speech in the United States. Directed by Liz Garbus, the film features prominent legal experts and activists discussing various cases and events that have tested the limits of the First Amendment. The film opens with a narration by Martin Garbus, a prominent civil rights attorney, who describes the history of free speech in America and its importance in protecting democracy. The documentary then explores several high-profile cases that have sparked controversy and debate.
One of the cases discussed is that of Ward Churchill, a professor at the University of Colorado who made controversial remarks about the September 11 attacks. The film examines the backlash against Churchill, who faced calls for his dismissal and even received death threats. The documentary raises questions about academic freedom and whether speech that is considered offensive or inflammatory should be protected.
Another case explored in the film is the controversial decision by the New York Times to publish classified documents about the war in Iraq. The newspaper faced intense criticism and accusations of treason for publishing the documents, yet many defended the Times' right to free speech and the importance of a free press in a democracy.
The film also delves into the debate over hate speech and its limits. The documentary examines the case of Fred Phelps, a minister known for his extremist views against homosexuality, whose protests at military funerals have sparked outrage. The film explores the tension between protecting freedom of speech and protecting individuals from harm.
Throughout the film, Garbus interviews a wide range of figures, including legal experts such as Ken Starr and Floyd Abrams, as well as activists and journalists. The documentary also includes home movies and archival footage related to the cases discussed, providing a vivid portrayal of the events in question.
Overall, Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech is a thought-provoking examination of one of America's most cherished freedoms. The film raises important questions about the limits of free speech and the role of government and society in balancing the need for freedom with the need for safety and respect. It is a must-see for anyone interested in civil rights, law, or social justice.
Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech is a 2009 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 14 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.