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No Umbrella
Election Day in the City

An unblinking look at the 2004 US Election Day failures in one of Ohio's poorest neighborhoods.

A printer-friendly version of this page 26 minutes
Directed by Laura Paglin

"Makes a convincing case for an overhaul of this country's voting process." The (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer
No Umbrella - Election Day in the City is an unblinking look at the 2004 US Election Day failures in one of Ohio's poorest neighborhoods. In the most hotly contested state in the country, gridlock at inner city polls ignites tempers and sets off charges of conspiracy.

No Umbrella drops us squarely into the chaos as we watch the irascible octogenarian councilwoman (Ms. Fannie Lewis) take on polling place breakdowns, an unresponsive bureaucracy and an increasingly agitated electorate.

Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2006     Copyright Date: 2005
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-521-0     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-520-2

"Makes a convincing case for an overhaul of this country's voting process."
The (Raleigh, NC) News and Observer

"Infuriating minidocumentary"
Salt Lake City Weekly

"Laura Paglin's 26 minute documentary is sure to rile viewers of any political affiliation."
L.A. Splash Magazine

"At times approaches the absurdity of Samuel Beckett's most twisted plays."
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival program

"Paglin deserves a blank check for whatever she chooses to do next."
Cleveland Free Times

"Paglin captured our desperation and the enormity of our challenge...We all need an 'aha' moment to jolt us into rethinking, reframing, and changing direction. If this isn't that moment, I don't know what is."

"[No Umbrella] will no doubt raise questions about an outdated and undemocratic voting bureaucracy."
The Can Magazine

"Raw, brutal filmmaking...[the film] is a testament to people who will do whatever it takes to fight for their basic rights as American citizens...No Umbrella will make you angry."
Blogcritics Magazine

"The 26-minute documentary should stir anyone who believes in basic American virtues - whether Democratic or Republican - into action."

"No Umbrella is a MUST viewing and must owning for everyone. If you're a Democrat who believes in democracy it will outrage you. If you're an independent who believes in democracy it will outrage you. If you're a Republican who believes in democracy it will outrage you...INCREDIBLE...will keep you thinking for days."
The Moderate Voice

"Through Paglin's unassuming camerawork, perfect placement, and tight editing, we are brought front and center in a chaotic and foreign place and time - this could be anywhere, and just down the street...[No Umbrella] works - it stands on its own - it's global and timeless."

"Paglin managed to succinctly capture both the suspicion and crippling frustration that haunt Ohio's electorate to this day."

"This is a forceful and unrepentant look at the disorder that took place in a poor Ohio voting district on Election Day 2004. No Umbrella brings us right in the middle of the frenzy caused by a lack of planning and insufficient voting stations...Highly Recommended for audiences middle school and above."
Michael J. Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Educational Media Reviews Online

"Filmmaker Laura Paglin's fly-on-the-wall documentary brilliantly captures the frustration in this Election Day mishap, and it also celebrates Fannie Lewis' amazing indefatigable spirit...Just from watching this film, one can easily advocate Lewis for the Congressional Medal of Honor."

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DVDs include public performance rights.

No Umbrella web site

Awards and Festivals
Sundance Film Festival
Gold Plaque, HUGO Television Awards, Chicago International Film Festival
Jury Award for Best Short, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Audience Award, Sydney Film Festival
Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association Film Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
National Women's Studies Association 2007 Film/Video Series

African-American Studies
American Democracy
American Studies
Citizenship and Civics
Political Science
Race and Racism
Urban Studies

Related Titles

Counting on Democracy
An examination of the fiasco in Florida in the context of the history of voting rights violations.

Street Fight
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The Long Walk To Freedom
A story of 12 ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things in the Civil Rights movement.

this black soil
Chronicles the successful struggle of Bayview, VA, to pursue a new vision of prosperity.

After Silence
Examines the treatment of Japanese-Americans during WW II, and its relevance to post 9/11 America.

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