Filmmakers Tia Lessen and Carl Deal worked with Michael Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, and made a movie, Trouble the Water, on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They made plans to deal with money in politics and the Citizens United Supreme Court decision when in early 2011 a grassroots rebellion began in Wisconsin.
The newly elected governor Scott Walker, deeply funded by money from the Koch brothers, had proposed eliminating bargaining rights for public employees. Tia Lessen and Carl Deal captured - over several months - one of the most inspiring social movements of our time and the first large scale rebellion against money in politics. The images of teachers, nurses and fire fighters occupying the State House, one on one conversations with participants in the protests - many of them Republicans who reject the extremism of the Tea Party, and the coverage of the recall campaign that collected almost a million signatures - all that makes up the heart of the movie.
Sadly though Walker's high financed rise to power and the even better funded defeat of the recall movement stand at the beginning and end of the movie as warning that the power of money over politics must be broken. This movie is a contribution to that end.
Independent radio journalist and producer, Christina Aanestad spoke with Tia Lessen at the opening of her film in San Francisco at the Opera Plaza Cinemas. It was a packed house and they spoke in the lobby of the theater amongst late arrivals of movie goers and a popcorn stand.