‘Slay The Dragon’ Review: Could This Bone-Chilling Documentary On Voter Manipulation Signal End Of America’s Two-Party System?

Participant Media is the manufacturing firm behind quite a few vital issue-oriented movies each narrative and documentary, together with Oscar winners like Inexperienced E-book, An Inconvenient Fact and its sequel, RBG, Highlight, Citizenfour, and the all-too-prescient Contagion amongst many others. Its newest movie, now hitting video on demand Friday as a substitute of its once-planned theatrical break, is correct in keeping with these extremely vital movies and delivers an all too scary, however not fully hopeless, message that hits proper on the coronary heart of American democracy.


Slay the Dragon is about gerrymandering and its use through the years by each the Republican and Democratic events, however focusing intently on a 10-year effort by the GOP to govern voting patterns throughout America by focusing on native state elections with the identical sort of monetary backing and destructive advert barrage normally reserved for presidential campaigns. A film analyzing the artwork and observe of gerrymandering isn’t on the floor precisely the sexiest sort of leisure to curve up with in these darkish occasions, however it’s one thing that unquestionably ought to be seen. The observe primarily permits politicians in energy to carve up congressional districts in such twisty and irrational methods as to nearly assure their election, even in lots of circumstances with out getting the most well-liked votes general (it’s sophisticated, however consider the impact of the electoral school). It really has been round since 1812 and received its title via the mixture of the person who created it and part of the phrase salamander, the slithery physique that portends bother. It’s carried out each 10 years round census time and isn’t overseas to both main get together, a way utilized by these in energy to maintain that energy by carving up the territory, because it had been, to eke out victories the place logically they shouldn’t have them. It additionally has the impact of voter suppression.

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The chilling movie, directed by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance and first seen ultimately 12 months’s Tribeca Movie Pageant, noticed its March 13 theatrical launch plans torpedoed by the coronovirus disaster and as a substitute switched to a VOD bow. It’s price discovering any method you’ll be able to. The filmmakers actually level out the dire penalties that may come about due to profitable gerrymandering, and make no try and maintain the taking part in discipline even because the movie’s goal is clearly the GOP’s makes an attempt to regulate elections within the final decade, significantly in the important thing locales featured right here together with Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina. It successfully explains how the method works however then places a welcome human face on it exhibiting how the disastrous Flint, MI water disaster happened due to it, in addition to how the lack of collective union bargaining and voter ID necessities had been a direct results of the election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, amongst different issues.

However the filmmakers additionally present that perhaps residents can take again that energy themselves, particularly within the case of Michigan activist Katie Fahey, who launches an uphill petition marketing campaign underneath the title Voters Not Politicians with a purpose to get a poll initiative and 50,000 signatures as soon as thought inconceivable. She is an actual pressure, an instance of somebody not within the system out to make a distinction. The similar goes for a North Carolina group who take the problem all the way in which to the Supreme Courtroom. And lest you suppose that is all a left-wing hit blindsiding the GOP, Challenge REDMAP founder Chris Janowski is a keen interview on precisely what the Republican motives are and he doesn’t apologize for any of it. That’s maybe probably the most sobering a part of your complete movie. This is all occurring in plain sight.

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The final message right here is that politicians can’t be trusted to show this observe round. As an alternative it’s all within the fingers of the folks making an attempt to “slay the dragon,” one state at a time.

Try my video assessment above with scenes from the movie. Do you propose to see Slay the Dragon? Tell us what you suppose.