Shut Up & Sing

Shut Up & Sing

3.9 27
Director: Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck, Dixie Chicks, Martie Maguire

Cast: Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck, Dixie Chicks, Martie Maguire

     
 

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Between 1998 and 2002, it seemed the Dixie Chicks could do no wrong. Their first major-label album, Wide Open Spaces, was a smash hit, topping the country charts and eventually selling 12 million copies, while their subsequent albums Fly and Home respectively moved ten and six million units. Their concert tours were consistent sellouts, making

Overview

Between 1998 and 2002, it seemed the Dixie Chicks could do no wrong. Their first major-label album, Wide Open Spaces, was a smash hit, topping the country charts and eventually selling 12 million copies, while their subsequent albums Fly and Home respectively moved ten and six million units. Their concert tours were consistent sellouts, making them the most commercially successful female group in the history of the recording industry. However, things took an unexpected turn for the Dixie Chicks in March 2003; with the United States expected to invade Iraq in a matter of days, the group's Texas-born singer Natalie Maines said during a concert in England, "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas." While the spontaneous quip earned cheers during the show, the Dixie Chicks soon found themselves at the center of a firestorm of controversy at home -- radio stations pulled their music from playlists, conservative political commentators organized boycotts and protests against the groups, and during shows the Chicks became the targets of death threats. As Maines and her bandmates Emily Robison and Martie Maguire weathered the storm, they had things of their own to deal with, including marriages, childbirth, and making a new album with producer Rick Rubin. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck teamed up to follow the Dixie Chicks as they recorded their 2006 album Taking the Long Way, fought back against the accusations lobbed against them, and struggled to hold on to their personal lives in the midst of intense media scrutiny. Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing (titled for a comment shouted at them by a fan) was the result; the film became the first documentary to enjoy its world premiere as a Gala Presentation at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
This Chicks flick by Barbara Kopple (Academy Award winner for Harlan County, U.S.A.) and Cecilia Peck is powerful testament to the inconvenient truth that free speech can come at a very high cost. The Dixie Chicks, Texas-based and one of country music's most successful acts, found out just how costly it was in the weeks following a March 10, 2003, concert in London. Indulging in some between-song patter, singer Natalie Maines expressed shame that "the president of the United States is from Texas." In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything; and at the time, President George W. Bush's popularity among the Chicks' traditional country fans was sky-high, and the invasion of Iraq was imminent. Reaction was fast and furious. Country radio stations boycotted the Dixie Chicks' music. Conservative talk show hosts lambasted them. Country superstar Toby Keith got into the act by denigrating Maines in his concerts. People destroyed Dixie Chicks CDs in public protests that echoed the furor sparked by John Lennon's 1966 "We're more popular than Jesus now" comment. The trio’s tour had to be scaled back and rerouted to include friendlier climes (Canada). There were death threats. And there was, for the Chicks, solidarity. Shut Up & Sing is a backstage pass to witness a group at this career crossroads -- although it lives up to its title with plenty of concert and studio rehearsal footage as the group works on the Taking the Long Way album. It's too bad the film was completed before the album's unrepentant anthem, "Not Ready to Make Nice," earned record and song of the year honors at the February 2007 Grammy Awards, among the Chicks' five-Grammy haul. That would have given Shut Up & Sing a Hollywood ending one usually only sees in the movies.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/20/2007
UPC:
0796019799300
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
R
Source:
Weinstein Company
Presentation:
[Full Frame]

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dixie Chicks Participant
Martie Maguire Participant
Natalie Maines Participant
Simon Renshaw Participant
Emily Robison Participant

Technical Credits
Barbara Kopple Director,Producer
Cecilia Peck Director,Producer
Alan Barker Sound/Sound Designer
Christine Burrill Cinematographer
David Cassidy Producer
Joan Churchill Cinematographer
Claude Davies Co-producer
Dixie Chicks Score Composer
Bob Eisenhardt Editor
Seth Lewis Gordon Camera Operator,Cinematographer
Gary Griffin Cinematographer
Aaron Kuhn Editor
Luis Lopez Cinematographer
Emma Joan Morris Editor
Giovanni Di Simone Sound/Sound Designer
Jean Tsien Editor

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Shut Up & Sing 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a brilliant documentary. I'm surprised that it wasn't nominated for an Academy award. The Dixie Chicks are my heroes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the things that rocks so much about this movie is how strong these "nice girls from Texas" are in the face of adversary. Seeing them bravely go in front of audeinces who openly hate them. This movie bounces back and forth between "the incident" in 2003 and the recording of the new album in 2005. Cleverly edited and beautifully shot, the best moment is when Natalie Maines, exhausted and tired from attacks on both sides, says that they'll service their video to VH1 but that CMT can maybe hear from them in a couple of years... maybe. But seeing protesters say things like "Free Speech is OK but you shouldn't do it in public" or "Move to France" or "if you like the Dixie chicks you support communism" shows you just how thick a wall of stupidity and ignorance they left behind. A solid movie and a facinating watch.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Luv the behind-the-scenes story of women who stand up for what they believe in. The music is great, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a long-time fan of the Dixie Chicks, but I didn't really follow the whole story about how right-wing, robo-facists had targeted them about a comment that people ONCE would have unquestionably understood was within an American's right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It's disturbing that ANYONE could attempt to rationalize such mob mentality, as if Natalie had deserved something like that!! Oh, PLEASE! Once I saw this movie, the lyrics on the Taking the Long Way CD were much more meaningful. Take the time and watch this CD, and remember to stand up for Freedom of Speech. What is our country coming to, when people would so easily surrender our basic rights? We have no America without that! Sinclair Lewis once said, "When fascism comes to America, it will be draped in a flag and carrying a cross." Don't be a mindless follower.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fine documentary about extremely talented, intelligent, and courageous women!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find it almost unbelievable, the way the country music industry and their redneck Republican idiot stooges treated these three beautiful courageous women. This is one fantastic documentary, and everyone in the nation should see it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This amazing documentary shows what true patriotism is about and how stupid and wrong country music fans and jingoistic Americans continue to be about this illegal, counterproductive and un-American war of imperialism. The Chicks are more courageous than any of the armchair chickenhawks that berate them here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie. It is a behind the scenes look at one of the most popular music acts of all time: their families, the process of writing and making an album, and of course seeing them deal with controversy. One of the most interesting things I learned in the movie is that the infamous comment didn't come out of nowhere these women were watching CNN backstage before going out to perform. Is it odd that the two other reviews so far are from people who probably didn't watch the movie? Being a patriot means defending the freedom of speech of those you don't agree with, but those are some lame reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great documentary! I went to see it opening weekend in Cleveland and it was a big eye-opener as to how the girls were treated after speaking what I'd like to call "the truth." Truth or not, we as Americans still have freedom of speech and this film is an excellent way to speak one's mind. Whether you're a fan of the Chicks or not, this is an eye-opener! If not buy it, it's well worth the 4 bucks to rent it for the weekend!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Freedom of speech is part of what made America what it is today. If you don't like what someone says, your free to disagree. Taking away that right is something everyone should guard against. Selling out to "Hollywood" is freeper speak for I don't like what your saying and that means you should shut up, is against everything this country stands for. Buy a clue, or get off the bus and don't pretend like your everything that's great about this country especially when your trying to take away someone else's rights. Selling out to Hollywood indeed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No matter what you know about the Dixie Chicks or if your a fan or not, this is one of the most important documentaries that will stand the test of time. It will forever play an important role in American political history. It in no way feels like a marketing or publicity tool. Never before has a celebrity granted such access to their lives as the three women in this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether or not you agree with the Dixie Chicks political views, you should give them a chance and watch this film. I respect them as women and musicians, and I respect the fact that they stood up for what they believed in when thousands of people were attacking them. I am proud to say that I am a right-wing Dixie Chicks fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this documentary primarily because, even 3 years after the fact, I couldn't understand the incredible fall-out from a PG-rated comment about an elected leader...this, after all, is America where freedom of speech is supposedly a deeply valued construct. What I appreciated about the film is that it in no way attempts to make victimized martyrs of the Chicks, but once again illustrates the terrifying power of hated and groupthink by groups of intolerant people. One cheers at the end, not only for the Chicks, but because of the awareness that what happened to them could happen to any one of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These women have dealt with ridiculous accusations and endured to most horrible treatment all because they exercised their right of free speech and expression. Therefore, all the haters who claim the Chicks are unpatriotic, etc. are hypocrites because they are condemning these women for exercising their rights. A reminder for thoses who may have forgotten, free speech is still a right, even when it isn't convenient to your beliefs. This talented group didn't sell out, they have battled throughout and we finally take notice. By the way, their album Taking the Long Way is amazing and powerful, and I'm so glad the Grammy's chose to reward the Chicks in such a way!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who would even desire to see, much less hear, such people is beyond me. Being unprincipled and arrogant are not traits anyone should popularize. Please remove this trash or I will begin to go somewhere else with my business.....free speech is fine, but I too can express my wishes..An American First!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not that big a fan of their music, but it's good to see someone standing their ground in a biz where the bottom line is key. A fascinating documentary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read some of the reviews here, I thought perhaps it was going to be a stinker. I found this video facinating, not because I am a big fan, but because it took that moment in time where most people were very supportive of President Bush. He is still the president...at least until he is impeached! It showed one person who felt free enough to disagree. Let's face it, our country was built on freedom of expression. Perhaps this was not the best way to say it, but I don't think some of the hate-mongering, right-wing fanatics realize that they give credence and voice to others when they stage this type of retaliation. It is important to understand that this was not a protest...it was retaliation..and not a very Christian thing to do. Relationships between the various Dixie Chicks and the people around them were also interesting and I found it facinating to see the changes in the viewpoints of the various band members over time. I think the thing that you would hope people come away with is that ALL of us can speak our minds.....even those right-wing, nut-jobs. That is what makes American great. Here is someone who did just that....and frankly, I am a bit tired of those who are afraid to discuss politics because they don't want to get into any arguments with anyone. What happened to Will Roger's American...where you were free to disagree...as long as you could support it? The families and friends of the Chicks were interwoven throughout and with all the hate that was going on, it was nice to know that they had family for support. But I think that a couple people were not viewing it as a video music documentary and the rest were probably part of the group banning "right-wing fringe groups". I am a bigger fan than before....although I know how unpopular President Bush is in Europe and the UK. I was over there at that time and in speaking with various Americans I ran into, the overall feeling was...don't say you are American. We did anyway...but the reaction was NOT supportive! Thanks to the Chicks for a piece out of their lives that gave voice to dissatisfaction with American politics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very Pleased In This Purchase.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Is a must see for anyone who is a Dixie Chicks Fan!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, what the Dixie Chicks said about our President, Commander-in-Chief, in the overseas theater had nothing to do with "Freedom Of Speech," here in America. And whoever told them that their comments were justified under such a Flag of Truth, were probably being disingenuous to these great ladies for whatever reason. If fact, it wasn't what they said that angered most Americans, it was where they said it. They said it in front of a crowed of people, and in front of television cameras where terrorists exist, during a time war. This gave terrorists more strength and reasons to kill our sons, daughters, mothers and fathers. Terrorists use such statements and videos as part of their pep talks to get more recruits for suicide and roadside bombings missions. Had a soldier made the same exact statements on foreign soil, he or she, could be held accountable under the Unified Code of Military Justice. While I feel that the Dixie Chicks were mislead, their true friends need to step in and say, "Shut Up & Stop Representing Yourselves as Heroes." Play the music that they enjoy playing because politics is ugly and audiences do not like to here ugly. On a good guess, the people who kept patting the Dixie Chicks on the back, have never served our great country in any capacity, complain the most, and have lots of money. One more time, "Freedom of Speech" is not a right in foreign countries who harbor terrorists during War-Like conditions. This is an important message for the Dixie Chicks to read, because their music can bring more positive results to America. If this truly was a Freedom Of Speech, issue I would be right there ... but it's not!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is nothing more than hollywood embracing those of their anti-american mindset. In the beginning the Dixie Chicks would not compromise their art form to pander to the hip hop culture even by recording one of their songs with less fiddle. Now they've sold out entirely to hollywood. I hope they make a ton of money with this. For one day they will see that they've sold that which they could lose no other way for something they will never be able to hang on to. It would have been better for them to retire from music and marry CEOs of big media and pro sports teams.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No doubt the girls are talented but Natalie's mouth seems to destroy any desire I might have to add anything to her coffer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is definitely not worth your money.