"I'm ashamed that the President is from Texas"
Directed by: Barbara Kopple & Cecilia Peck
Starring: The Dixie Chicks
My Rating: 4/5
A documentary about three loud, big-haired country music sensations may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t let your feelings on The Dixie Chicks deter you from this riveting documentary. In 2003, Natalie Maines, outspoken lead singer of
The documentary’s broken narrative focuses on the time between the incident and the release of their subsequent album. Most of the time spent in the studio sees the girls struggling with how they need to react to this huge career setback and although they have their moments of doubt, they bravely take a stand and refuse to apologise for something they feel they had every right to say. Far from being a propaganda project for the band, it takes the audience through the self-doubt and the tantrums and the very un-rock n roll financial concerns that the incident caused. However, it does show the heroic stand that the girls took in sticking together and not giving in to the enormous pressure to crawl back to the public and beg for forgiveness.
What is so great about this documentary is that it is interesting on so many levels. It works as an interesting behind-the-music style documentary about a very popular band, it works as a Michael Moore-ish comment on the redneck delusion that seems to grip certain parts of the
Perhaps its biggest flaw is the focus on how sweet and wholesome the girls are. Of course, some empathy is necessary but there’s slightly too much indulgence in the “mommy” part of their lives, and how cuddly they all are. However, having said that, it is refreshing to see a music documentary which features morally heroic musicians instead of drug-addled rock stars and focuses on the very human struggle between commercial success and dignity.
Overall, this documentary is a pleasure to watch. Entertaining, frightening and uplifting; if you’re a fan of The Dixie Chicks, you’ll find the soundtrack an aural delight, if you’re not, you’ll tolerate it for the quality of the subject matter. Highly recommended!
- Charlene Lydon 12/07/07