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Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech Details

  • Runtime: 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Genres: Culture & Society
  • Director:Liz Garbus


The first amendment of the United States Constitution clearly states that Congress will make no law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press," but the fact that the Bill of Rights protects free speech doesn't mean that everyone likes it. Expressing controversial or unpopular opinions has sometimes caused people to be silenced by others, and in the wake of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, some Americans have found that speech isn't always as free as they'd imagine. Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge of Free Speech is a documentary in which filmmaker Liz Garbus explores both current and historic examples of cases in which the limits of free speech have been explored by public discourse or in a court of law. Along with such precedent-setting examples as the New York Times' legal battle to publish the Pentagon Papers and the right for American Nazis to march in a primarily Jewish neighborhood in Skokie, Illinois, Garbus presents the stories of Debbie Almontaser, the principal of a bi-lingual English-Arabic high school who lost her job after discussing the word "intifada" with students; Ward Churchill, a professor at the University of Colorado, who after sharing his views on how United States actions abroad may have led to the 9/11 attacks found himself at the center of a campaign to have him removed from the classroom; and Chase Harper, a California high school student who Christian-themed T-shirts decrying homosexuality were viewed by others as hate speech. Shouting Fire received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi



Liz Garbus
Liz Garbus
Jed Rothstein
Rory Kennedy
Tom Hurwitz
Miriam Cutler
Composer (Music Score)
Sheila Nevins
Executive Producer
Nancy Abraham
Executive Producer