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Can You Hear Us Now?

Unravels the ways that years of minority rule by one party have reshaped democracy in Wisconsin, where voters are finding their lives increasingly irrelevant to state lawmakers.

A printer-friendly version of this page 87 minutes
SDH Captioned>>

Directed by Jim Cricchi
Produced by Susan Peters, Jim Cricchi
Executive Producers: Tony Shalhoub, Jean-Christophe Castelli
Writer: Susan Peters
Editor: Jim Cricchi
Original Music: Caleb Stine
Graphics: Kevin Carmack
A Twelve Letter Films Production

"Terrific..illuminates the esoteric arguments about gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voting rights." Charles Anthony Smith, Prof, Political Science, UC-Irvine
[Note: Community screenings of CAN YOU HEAR US NOW? can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]

Small-town activism. Nail-biting elections. A last-minute power grab. In Wisconsin, where extreme partisanship has become the norm, voters are finding their lives increasingly irrelevant to state lawmakers.

Through the stories of four tireless women fighting to have their voices heard, CAN YOU HEAR US NOW? unravels the ways that years of minority rule by one-party have reshaped democracy in a state at the heart of American politics.

Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2021     Copyright Date: 2020
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-61-5

"This film is a compelling exposition that reveals the systematic suppression of voters in Wisconsin and how the featured activists fought back. The stories of these four remarkable women show the extent to which democracy itself is under siege by politicians determined to pick their voters instead of letting the voters pick their politicians. This terrific documentary illuminates the esoteric arguments about gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voting rights and the way those issues intersect with democracy itself."
Charles Anthony Smith, Professor of Political Science and Law, University of California-Irvine, Co-author, Gerrymandering in America and Gerrymandering the States

"One of the most important documentaries you'll see all year."
The Isthmus

"Can You Hear Us Now? is a gripping story. These are the ordinary people who take the plunge to improve their state by running for public office to restore fairness in the economy, the environment, and political system itself. A key roadblock to their success is the gerrymandered districts that allow legislators to ignore what the public wants."
Barry Burden, Professor of Political Science, Director of the Elections Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"A riff on the Frank Capra classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
The Capital Times

"You want to know what's wrong with democracy in Wisconsin? Watch this film! Perceptive and poignant and at times enraging, Can You Hear Us Now? shows you how Scott Walker, gerrymandering, and the American Legislative Exchange Council muffled the voices of We, the People, in Wisconsin. But it also shows the fighting progressive spirit that lives on in Wisconsin as We the People demand to be heard."
Matt Rothschild, Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

"A bracing document, laying bare the state of our state."
UW Cinematheque

"Can You Hear Us Now? is another painful reminder of democracy's frailty, as well as a call for hope and change from inspiring candidates."
Don Schwartz, cineSOURCE

"A moving, if disturbing, portrait of some of the best and worst features of contemporary American political life. Can You Hear Us Now? puts a face on the meaning of partisan gerrymandering, as a Republican minority in the state changes the rules to keep itself in power and thwart the will of the people. At the same time, the film offers inspiring local narratives of citizens mobilizing and running for office to protect their most fundamental interests and democracy itself. Everyone who cares about the future of American democracy should see it."
Alex Keyssar, Professor of History and Social Policy, Harvard University, Author, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

"Can You Hear Us Now? is a gripping story of how gerrymandering allows numerical minorities to maintain control of policy-making and power in America. This film is ideal for educators teaching about American democracy and institutions. It weaves human stories into a narrative of democratic decline and shows how extreme gerrymandering can lead to the misrepresentation of voters."
Christian Grose, Academic Director, USC Schwarzenegger Institute, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Southern California, Author, Congress in Black and White

"While this is limited to one state, the ramifications for voters across the country make this a viable choice for political junkies and informed voters."
Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Booklist

"Eye-opening...A well-shot examination that will benefit viewers from Wisconsin and beyond, especially those interested in political issues. Highly recommended."
Kevin Hall, Video Librarian

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DVDs include public performance rights.

DVD Features
DVD includes SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.

The Producers' Website
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Awards and Festivals
Video Librarian Best Documentaries of the Year List
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
Martha's Vineyard Film Festival
Wisconsin Film Festival
BendFilm Festival
Global Peace Film Festival
Reading FilmFEST

American Democracy
American Studies
Citizenship and Civics
Civil Rights
Political Science
Women's Studies

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