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Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins review – memorial to a liberal legend | Film

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The late journalist and media commentator Molly Ivins, an outspoken liberal from Texas, has an illustrious reputation among connoisseurs of political writing of the late 20th century, but is not so well known outside the US. This affectionate but thankfully not hagiographic documentary, directed by Janice Engel, offers a handy preçis of her biography, character and impact.

It’s told partly through fresh interviews with admirers (including the doyenne of progressive journalism, Rachel Maddow, as well as Dan Rather and Paul Krugman) and Ivins’ friends and family. But above all the film relies on a smoothly edited melange of archive footage that recorded Ivins’ killer comic timing in interviews on various public stages, as well as her incisive intelligence and irreverence, captured mostly on shoddy video with C-SPAN blazoned in the corners. But neither age nor compression artefacts can wither her immortal charisma.

Ivins was born into a high-Wasp clan but rebelled against her parents’ expectations that she do something genteel, instead becoming a civil rights supporter and then a reporter. While working at a Minnesota paper during the late 60s she was proud to have wound up the police so much with her reporting that they named their mascot pig after her. Then came a stint at the New York Times where she never quite suited the buttoned-down culture, given her tendency to walk around barefoot and bring her dog, whom she named Shit, to work with her.

The film implies she was sacked for describing a mass chicken slaughter in the midwest as a “gang pluck”, a phrase that didn’t make it into print but still raised the ire of the editor in chief. (She said later she only used it to make the copy editors laugh.) Eventually she returned to Texas and became a syndicated columnist and author of several books on politics that gave her a national reputation.

Given that it’s 13 years since Ivins died, it’s puzzling why this film is coming out now, but it’s never not a good time to celebrate a woman with an outsized, big-boned talent, a heroine for the left even if she didn’t always adhere to the party line. Heaven knows we need all the plain-speaking, fearless heroines we can get right now.

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins is in cinemas and on digital platforms from 23 October.


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How Kerry Washington Celebrated The 2020 Election

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Dancing, ice cream — could you ask for anything more?


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Kerry Washington stumped for Biden and Harris before Election Day (as you can see in this photo) — so it’s no surprise that she told People about her family celebrating when the election was formally called.


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“I was hanging out with my family, and it was actually raining here,” she explained. “My kids and I, [as soon as we heard the news], we went out and danced in the rain. We were splashing around in puddles and just enjoying it.”


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“We told them they could have ice cream. They were like, ‘We get ice cream!’ And I was like, ‘And also democracy!'”

Washington also talked to People about why she believes it’s important for her to speak her mind politically.

“…It’s not so much that I want to use my celebrity to tell people what to do,” she said. “It’s more just that as Americans, we live in a democracy that needs all of us to contribute and to use our voices.”

“…I’m not using social media to say, ‘I’m Kerry Washington, listen to me.’ I’m more saying, ‘I want you all to know that your voices are as important as mine. For this democracy to work, we need all of us to show up and to contribute.'”

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I Rewatched "The Little Mermaid" And I'm Sorry, But Ariel And Eric's Relationship Makes No Sense

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Trading your voice for a man you hardly know seems like a poor decision in hindsight.


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You're Either Gryffindor Or Slytherin — There's No In Between

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