RAISE HELL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
I’ll admit that I knew some of the cool things Molly Ivins wrote, but I didn’t know nearly enough about this amazing woman. That is until this fantastic documentary. It was inspired by a one-woman play starring Kathleen Turner six years ago in LA called “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.” Director Janice Engel was in the audience, and she was stunned by who Molly Ivins was, how she spoke, and who she so brilliantly skewered as a political writer.
This documentary is what the director was inspired to create from that play. Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins is a timely documentary. Politics being at the forefront of the news, Molly’s observations are surprisingly relevant long after her untimely death in 2007.
The movie explores Molly’s deep distrust of patriarchal authority and a need to stand up for the underdog. As her friend, Kaye Northcott says in the film, “Molly hated anyone who would basically kick a cripple.” I love the pacing and intimacy the director managed to give us as we learn that Molly believed that the Bill of Rights was in peril. She said, “Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.” Molly’s words have proven prophetic.
Even though Molly was upfront about being a liberal she hit the Democrats with her intelligent scathing wit as well. She was even-handed and called out stupidity wherever she found it. This film does a great job of telling the story of this media firebrand Molly Ivins. Through archived interviews of Molly, and new interviews with the people in her life, we get a complete and entertaining portrait of this Texas treasure. She was six feet of Texas trouble who took on Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Her razor-sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing, and craving ink in her columns. It also made her a target nationally to many who disagreed with what she wrote from her home in Texas.
I’m glad this film has been made and shines a light on a brave and talented writer. I give Raise Hell: The Life And Times of Molly Ivins an A rating. It’s a perfect introduction to a new generation of politically active people.
Directed by Janice Engel
Running Time 93min
Selig Rating A
Limited to Wide Release August 30th
Starring: Molly Ivins, Dan Rather, Harold Cook, Andy Ivins, Margo Johnston
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.