Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Review: 'Free For All' by John Wellington Ennis

REVIEW: 'Free For All' by John Wellington Ennis

One Dude Searches for Democracy in America, Only to Discover He's It...

By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

I finally got the chance to watch the final cut (or so he says) of John Wellington Ennis' ingenious and inspiring Free For All! over the weekend. Taglined "One Dude's Quest for Democracy", the latest in the burgeoning election integrity documentary cannon offers yet another fresh look at our democracy on the precipice.

It's also damned funny --- which is a very nice change of pace --- and brings both the soul and spirit of your favorite Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock to the serious concerns of America's mindblowing electoral dysfunction.

While previous films in the genre have often focused more narrowly on the filmmaker's particularly favorite bête noire, such as voting machines, voter suppression, whistleblowers or the examination of specific aberrations of democracy (such as Florida 2000 or Ohio 2004), Free For All! uses Ohio's 2006 election --- featuring '04 villain, OH Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's quest for the Governorship --- to examine "all of the above", as Ennis himself serves as the Michael Moore-ian "Dude" trying to figure out just what the hell has gone wrong with the system. Answer: Just about damned near everything.

Ennis even manages to close a bit of a loop on 2004 by bringing in the "Don't Tase Me, Bro" FSU student who, in fact, was attempting to get a real answer from John Kerry on why he rolled over on the '04 election when he received a few thousand volts of thanks for his efforts. Real ones. As opposed to the imaginery ones that ABCNBCCBSCNNMSNBCFOX used on themselves to shut down reportage on one several of the greatest crimes of modern times.

Ennis also succeeds in offering a solution to many of the discovered woes...

Near the end of his quest to figure out who is supposed to be watching over our public elections, to keep these nightmares from occurring, he discovers the answer --- in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people --- is actually citizen oversight.

"I'm the oversight," Ennis notes in his revelation, before adding "that's really depressing."

But, as he quickly finds out, what's actually depressing is doing nothing. What's empowering, on the other hand, is taking action, as Ennis himself did when he helped found the incredibly important Video The Vote movement. VtV will, again this year, be out in force across the country, documenting our democracy for the world to see. Please join that movement! It takes little more than a video camera. Even a cell phone will do! And nothing could be less depressing.

Please add Free For All! to your ever expanding election integrity documentary library! And then get busy!

[DISCLOSURE: You should be forewarned that, yeah, I appear in this one too. But, like many of the others, it's good anyway!]

[NOTE: Ennis will be joining me, along with Patty Sharaf, filmmaker of the frightening Murder, Spies & Voting Lies, this Thursday at Noon PT on KPFK --- 90.7FM Los Angeles, 98.7FM Santa Barbara and streaming on KPFK.org --- as I host a fundraising hour for the Pacifica station, featuring live interviews with both filmmakers and DVD give-aways for supporters!]

*************

ENDS

More Articles by Brad Friedman

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Scoop HiveMind Project: Universal Basic Income - Are We Up For It?

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million potential funders and recipients of a Universal Basic Income to collectively consider the issue:
1. Is UBI is a desirable policy for New Zealand; and
2. How should a UBI system work in practice. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets

The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: This ->

It's been brought to my attention that Labour's new campaign slogan is "Let's do this". A collective call to action. A mission. I myself was halfway out of the couch before I realised I wasn't sure what it was I was supposed to do. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Hivemind Report: What New Zealanders Think About Affordable Housing

Ordinary citizens have had very few venues where they can debate and discuss as to what they believe has led to the crisis in affordable housing and how we might begin to address this. The HiveMind on affordable housing was about redressing the balance. More>>

ALSO:

New Hivemind Exploration: Opening The Election - Freshwater Quality

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million guardians of our common water resources to help us find mutually agreeable solutions to the critical task of collectively managing these resources for health and sustainability. More>>

ALSO: