Shut Up and Sing after natalie maines

 

Shut up & Sing is about a harsh political reaction of the country trio the Dixie Chicks. This was after the Natalie Maines who is the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks said that, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” Natalie said these words that were meant to criticize George W. Bush at Shepherd’s Bush in London concert on March 10, 2003 where she criticized invasion of Iraq. This documentary is unique on its own and it tends to address freedom of speech as well as censorship that arise because a musician has criticized a popular opinion (Kopple & Peck Film).

Natalie was against the war in Iraq and this catapulted her to make such kind of remarks that would later prompt the several reactions that involved name calling such as traitors and communists. This comment made the Dixie Chicks lose fans and airtime the radio stations that supported the war. DJs and some of their old fans destroyed their CDs in public. Additionally, bomb sniffing dogs as well as metal detectors were put in their concerts and other more threats such as death threat at their performance in Dallas. They were told to shut up and sing by their fans (Kopple & Peck Film).

The media especially in UK and US picked up the lines and grabbed the deadline leading to so many controversies and the time for the Dixie Chicks to turn against their stand because the media. The filmmakers documented a lot regarding the trio’s reactions to the frustrations and harsh treatments they faced even after they tried to counteract by saying that it was just a free speech and failed. Their themes and artistic approach to music really changed because the music was aimed at responding to the hostilities and the threats they faced. Natalie’s criticism became part of the group’s identity as it is shown in the documentary when they are preparing to promote their new album (Kopple & Peck Film).

However, Maines seems reluctant to participate in the group’s activities for fear of backlash and this really shows how the trio handles their emotional aftermath. Shutup& Sing openly shows how Maines, Maguire and Robinson deal with issues regarding their beliefs and their music career.It is really remarkable to see the way the documentary reflects the strong bod amongst the trio despite the threats and frustrations they face in their career. This was actually interesting because the women were just speaking their minds and exercising their right of freedom.  The other two actresses refer to themselves as “we” whenever the media asks them about their feelings and thought towards Maines. In fact they even grow stronger to campaign for free speech (Kopple & Peck Film).

This documentary actually shows what happens to the music industry when an artist’s attempt to express their own opinion on a public matter. It is really emotional to see the kind of harassment and harsh treatments the trio receive just for being open about an issue that touches and is of great interest to the public (Kopple & Peck Film). The director of the documentary has also strongly shown how crisis can always join people together instead of separating them. The documentary provides the link between politics, media and celebrities when it comes to handle public opinion and the way politics and media can destroy celebrities’ names in a polarized social climate.

 

 

Works Cited

Kopple, Barbara and Peck Cecilia, dir. Shut Up & Sing. Weinstein Company, 2006. Film.

 


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