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The People Speak 2009
Description: A look at America's struggles with war, class, race and women's rights. based on Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."
Released: 13 Dec 2009 Director: Anthony Arnove, Chris Moore, Howard Zinn Writers: Anthony Arnove (book), Howard Zinn (book) Actors: Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, Matt Damon, Marisa Tomei Genres: Documentary, History
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See The People Speak: Howard Zinn on youtube.

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See The People Speak: Howard Zinn on youtube.

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The People Speak Reviews:

Not one person even recommends this unbelievable documentary by one of the United States most cherished historians. This seems to be a truly sad state of affairs.I first heard of Mr. Zinn, like many Non-US-Citizens (I'm Swiss/Algerian) through a plug by Matt Damon's hero in "Good Will Hunting".After loving Gus van Sant's film for almost 15 years and doing some research about Mr. Zinn I have actually watched this film and the Matt Damon-narrated "You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train".All I can tell to folks around the globe and especially Americans, "SEE IT". It's more than worth it, to see history with a various pair of eyes, various view-points and a healthy dose of hope for humanity.The words that are being spoken here are as real and relevant as they ever were. The passion by Mr. Damon, Viggo Mortensen, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Marisa Tomei, Josh Brolin, Jasmin Guy and many others is clearly visible and audible.I truly hope this review will be helpful to you :-) Because "if we do act, in however tiny a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an unlimited succession of presents, and to live actually as we think human beings could live, in defiance of all that is terrible around us, is itself a marvelous victory." Thank your Mr. Zinn for your words, thoughts, inspirations and to the many folks involved in the making of this documentary.Serge Zehnder 10 February 2010.


A number of actors, musicians., etc. read writings and letters by the rebels of American history, like John Brown. Others read quotes showing some of the darker side of our history, like Abraham Lincoln's early determination NOT to gratis the slaves. And still others read words by unknown 'regular people' commenting on their times. Mixed with this are folk songs performed by Eddie Vedder, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others. Moving and informative, this is not, 'fair and balanced', nor does it pretend to be. The concept is to take a specific perspective on American history, from the time of the Declaration of Independence on, as a nation forged, and constantly changed by rabble rousers and revolutionaries, from Thomas Jefferson to Fredrick Douglas to Susan B. Anthony. I was fascinated and disturbed to read the vitriol that this project has brought out from the right, and the sometimes mindless knee-jerk counter reactions from the left - quickly degenerating into the old 'you're a commie who hates America!' 'Oh yeah? Well you're a fascist who hates what America stands for!' kid like spats. Zinn and his approach is neither the first nor last word on American History, but it surely raises necessary questions, and teaches concepts that were certainly not part of my public school education. (e.g. the fascinating distinction between the Declaration of Independence as a more 'left wing' idealistic document ('All boys are created equal') and the Constitution, which was more conservative, and enshrined concepts such as slavery as part of the basis of the country). And while it's clear the movie has a 'liberal' political mission of view, to tell - as many have - that a movie full of the words of those who helped war to change America for the better is somehow 'anti- American' astonishes me. Since when is holding a various political viewpoint 'anti- American'? The greatness of this country has been it's willingness to change, grow, challenge itself, right its wrongs and attempt to be a nation that gives voice to folks from countless backgrounds and points-of-view. This movie reminds us of that. Not quite sure how that makes it 'anti-American'. There is no contradiction between patriotism and a questioning mind that seeks to look honestly at our past, uncover historic wrongs, determine to right them and avoid them in future and celebrate those who fought for the freedom of their race, or sex, etc.My only quibble with the movie is that not all the readers bring the same lvl of passion, commitment (or, let's face it, acting talent) to their readings. But it was not enough of a trouble to hold me from being constantly involved and moved.



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