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directed by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck
USA 2006


During the past few years, America’s mood shifted noticeably towards anti-George-W.-Bush sentiments. However, it took until last year, 2006, for the country to find the courage to stand up to Dubya, when Democrats won majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. Prior to 2006, anti-Bush movies were mostly shrill polemics preaching to the choir. In 2006, anti-Bush movies like An Inconvenient Truth became the voice of logic and reason embraced by the mainstream.

Oddly, the Texan country-music group The Dixie Chicks spoke out against Bush in 2003 as the administration prepared to invade Iraq on the basis of bad information and lies. The Dixie Chicks bravely went against the grain of their commercial base, and they paid a commercial price as radios stopped playing their songs, as fans destroyed their CDs in public rallies, and as the Nashville country-music establishment ostracized the all-time best-selling female group with savage personal attacks. Around the country, idiots declared that The Dixie Chicks should “shut up and sing” and that free speech is okay as long as you don’t do it outside the country and in public. It is unfortunate that people who were born here and grew up here do no understand the meaning of our Bill of Rights. We may not like what famous people say, but they have every right as any person to express themselves on any variety of topics.

Shut Up & Sing is about a popular music group’s struggle to emerge from the maelstrom of hate generated by Natalie Maines’s statement that the group is ashamed that Bush is from their home state, but the documentary does not resort to the populist panderings that characterize Michael Moore’s un-focused grapeshots. This is probably thanks in large part to co-director Barbara Kopple, the Oscar-winning director of activist documentaries such as Harlan County U.S.A. Shut Up & Sing details the musicians’ emotional ups-and-downs as well as the creative process. We get to see the pains and difficulties that led to the production of The Dixie Chicks’ latest album, which won most of the major awards at this year’s Grammies--major vindication after being ignored by the Country Music Awards.

David McCoy


Theatrical Release: 12 September 2006 (Toronto Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to David McCoy for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 93 min

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo English
Subtitles Optional English and Spanish
Features Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• trailers for Shut Up & Sing and other movies

DVD Release Date: 20 Feb 2007

Chapters 16





It looks like the movie was shot with commercial digital cameras, which explains the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. There were no compression artifacts, though some shots in low light are fairly soft.

The DVD’s only audio flavor is a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo English track. It is undistinguished but reproduces music lively and performances adequately.

Optional English and Spanish subtitles as well as optional English closed captions support the audio.

The only extras are trailers for Shut Up & Sing and other movies from The Weinstein Company and Genius Products.

 - David McCoy

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Genius Products/The Weinstein Company

Region 1 - NTSC


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