RAISE HELL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS – A Review by John Strange
Molly Ivins. That name evokes a lot of memories in this photojournalist/film reviewer. Growing up in Dallas, I loved reading her columns in the newspaper. Mom and Dad just liked that I was reading the paper instead of one of my many sci-fi books. Molly was a maverick journalist. This six-foot-tall, forthright straight-talking journalist was someone that politicians both appreciated and feared though they were normally loath to admit it.
From her early days right up until her last days she spoke the truth as she saw it whether face-to-face or in print. This gave the documentary’s filmmakers all sorts of fodder to work with. As you can see in the cast list attached to this review, there was no shortage of people willing to regale us with their tales about Molly interwoven with clips and stills from her life.
Six years in the making (not overlong for a good documentary), Janice Engel spent time diving into the archives at the Briscoe Center for American Studies at the University of Texas, learning everything she could find out Ms. Ivins. What she found was a woman who was fearless and determined to defend our way of life from politicians who were, um, not up to her standards. There are a couple of clips where she is describing very well known politicos in terms that were explicit and not at all complimentary.
The film follows Molly’s life from beginning to end. Telling us tales of her childhood we come to know this gangly young girl who grows into a reporter and matures into an amazing savvy columnist. I love her Texas roots and think they gave her as much grounding as her family did.
If you know about Molly Ivins, this film will bring back memories. For the rest of you heathens, you’ll learn enough about her to admire her as much as I do. This is a fun film to watch and rates an A+ in my book.
Directed by: Janice Engel
Cast: Harold Cook, Andy Ivins, Margo Johnston, Charles Kaiser, Paul Krugman, Anne Lamott, Linda Jann Lewis, Myra MacPherson, Rachel Maddow, Marty Maley, Sara Ivins Maley, Dave McNeely, Betsy Moon, Muffie Moroney, Victor Navasky
MPAA Rating: NR
Selig Rating: A+
Runtime: 93 Min.
Movie Site: mollyivinsfilm.com
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.