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Are Non-Partisan Political Docs Possible? Previewing "Patriocracy" and "Fear of a Black Republican"

by Anthony Kaufman
July 28, 2011 11:45 AM
7 Comments
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Two new political docs came into my purview recently, quite randomly, but they seem to be united by an effort to be nonpartisan.

After all of the hoopla surrounding the Sarah Palin documentary, it's nice to find filmmakers with perspectives that purportedly try to cut through the bullshit of political bias, and try to actually understand an issue, rather than push an agenda.

I haven't seen either film, however, so I can't say if they're any good, nor can I say if their claim to non-partisanship is valid. I have my suspicions, frankly.

But Kevin Williams' "Fear of a Black Republican" and Brian Malone's "Patriocracy" are both being presented as somewhat even-handed.

Williams' website claims "Fear of a Black Republican," is a movie that "neither party wants you to see," and judging from reports, the movie seems reasonable in its general criticism, criticizing Republicans for inadequately and ineffectively trying to court African American voters, and chastising Democrats for taking for granted the African American vote.

But before we give Williams -- a white Republican -- the benefit of objectivity, it's hard for me to believe that he's not surreptitiously pushing some sort of anti-Democrat agenda. The assumption he begins with and perpetuates is that Democrats don't do enough to serve black communities. But the fact of the matter is that African Americans (and the lower classes, in general) are generally screwed by the system. If the film suggests that Republicans would serve them any better, that's not just presumptuous, but ludicrous. (Reagan-Bush, anyone?) But let's hope the film is smarter than that.

If "Fear" may lean right, Brian Malone's "Patriocracy" probably leans left.

Exploring the extreme polarization in America that has crippled the country’s ability to tackle its problems, the film has played around in a rough edit to some local audiences, and features interviews with such commentators as Bob Schieffer, CBS News's chief Washington correspondent, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, and Republican Senator Alan Simpson (see below). Judging from the trailer, the film seems to show that anti-government rhetoric is out of control (that'd be from the extreme right), but it also shows clips of both Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck as symbols of misinformation. It's a good reminder -- for me, and for others -- to cool down the political-baiting and speak the truth.


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7 Comments

  • Pat Taylor | October 24, 2011 11:16 AMReply

    "If “Fear” may lean right, Brian Malone’s “Patriocracy” probably leans left."

    Why make those assumptions? Just ask them for a copy for you to review.

  • Fyne | July 30, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    Actually dude, my criticism of you means nothing if you thought I was simply aiming at the way you wrote this very piece. It's your pretentiousness in general, when you compare the point you are trying to make here, with your past body of work which include ignorant hit pieces on people, things, films, etc that you know nothing about. Don't get me wrong, the above article is a piece of crap. But what makes it even worse, is the lack of credibility that you've generated through your past work.

  • anthony | July 29, 2011 11:03 AMReply

    You silly people on the comments board. Do you actually read the words on the page or do you simply spew vitriolic and hateful remarks based on some right-wing fantasy that you have concocted in your head? I did not slam this film. How could I, if I admittedly haven't seen it? In fact, I gave it publicity and space, and engaged it honestly based on what little I have seen, like the trailer. I even ended my summation of the film with the hope that it'd be smart, and not play into the hands of the Right. I'm very liberal--that's no surprise--so of course I'm going to lay into Reagan-Bush when I can. At least I didn't bring up the Bush response to Hurricane Katrina.

  • Fred | July 29, 2011 6:18 AMReply

    You are truly one biased, lazy, fuck.
    Here we have someone busting his butt to make a film, and you shred it before even giving it a viewing.

    Toss in some vague slam about Bush & Reagan being racists without a bit of support. Do you by any chance remember Rice or Powell? Oh yeah - those tokens.

    It used to be those who can - do (see Kevin Williams), and those who can't - teach. But that's so pre-algore. Now it's those who can't - write shitty net columns (see Andy Kaufman).

  • Fyne | July 29, 2011 1:27 AMReply

    So let me get this straight. You, a moron who makes it a habit of slamming movies you have never seen, and attacking people you know nothing about, are now lecturing us on understanding an issue without any agenda? Do you usually slip into amnesia after delivering these self-righteous screeds of yours? Are you really that unaware of the fact that your writings are out there for all to see?

  • Harry | July 28, 2011 2:47 AMReply

    Whenever I see Olbermann equated with Beck, I know I'm in the presence of a lazy thinker.

  • Pat | July 28, 2011 1:46 AMReply

    Look at your last sentence... then re-read your comments about "fear of a black republican." A little prejudice towards this filmmaker because he is republican or because he is white? Your writing sounds very prejudicial whether you realize it or not.

    You should at least watch the trailer or see the flick before you infer or accuse someone of dishonesty. : (

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