By Kate Frank Cohen
Documentary film series Reel Docs opens its 2020 season with Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins. This highly praised movie debuted at Sundance Film Festival 2019 and is as sharp, funny, and irreverent as its subject, media firebrand Molly Ivins (1944–2007). Raise Hell documents the life and work of this full-blooded Texan—a celebrated, nationally-syndicated political columnist, best-selling author, two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, and Bill of Rights advocate who used her razor-sharp wit to speak truth to power.
Receiving a resounding Rotten Tomatoes 94 percent “Fresh Tomato” critics’ score and a 100 percent audience score, Raise Hell has received wide acclaim. In his review, Washington Post critic Michael O’Sullivan wrote, “With free speech under attack, and truth-telling seemingly in short supply, Raise Hell offers an entertaining and bracing look at one of journalism’s least punch-pulling practitioners.” RogerEbert.compraised the film, saying, “There was never anybody like Molly Ivins before, and never will be again, and this documentary does a fine job of capturing what made her special.” The documentary landed a coveted spot on “Flavorwire’s Top 25 Films of 2019,” describing Ivins as “a timeless commentator of the Will Rogers and Mark Twain school.”
Raise Hell was an official selectionat several 2019 film festivals, including Sundance (after which it was picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures), Full Frame Film Documentary Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, and the SXSW and Minneapolis St Paul festivals where it was honored with the Audience Award.
Carlisle Vandervoort, one of the film’s producers, will participate in a post-screening discussion of the movie. Like her subject, Vandervoort is a born-and-bred Houstonian who brings an innate understanding of Ivins’ world from her decades in the Lone Star state. Reflecting on the film, she said, “Molly’s voice is needed now more than ever to stir us to action. She knew that humor was the way to reach people so they could truly listen.”
Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins will be shown on Tuesday, February 18, and Wednesday, February 19, at 2pm in the Biblioteca’s Teatro Santa Ana.Following the screening and discussion, the audience is invited to meet the film’s producer at a reception where margaritas and limonada will be served. Tickets are 150 pesos, including the reception, and may be purchased at Santa Ana box office, Reloj 50A, Monday–Friday, 10:30am–6:30pm.
Please note: Advanced-purchase ticket holders are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before the program begins to be seated. Reel Docs films often sell out, and unclaimed seats will be released to standbys on a first-come, first-served basis at showtime. Also, note that once the film has started latecomers cannot be seated. For more information about the Reel Docs, visit www.reeldocs.org and www.facebook.com/reeldocs
Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins
Tue–Wed, Feb 18–19, 2pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A