Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins | Chicago Reader

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins

Documentary filmmaker Janice Engel shines a light on political columnist and all-around badass Molly Ivins in Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins. The feature-length documentary lays out Ivins’s life, starting from her adolescence in Houston as a six-foot 12-year-old who didn’t fit in with her peers through her early days as a journalist, writing exposés of local racial disparity. By the late 70s, Ivins (as the title suggests) was raising hell at the New York Times and, later on, in her column in the Dallas Times Herald, and subsequently The Nation—often targeting political figures and offering scathing observations on government. Ivins passed away in 2007, and Raise Hell features interviews with Rachel Maddow and Dan Rather that illuminate how journalism has changed since Ivins’s time in the industry and how she paved the way for modern political commentary. Though the documentary doesn’t feature any conservative talking heads to balance out its liberal voice, anyone could leave the film unsettled by how relevant Ivins’s commentary remains today.

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