Opening 9 Aug 2007
Writing credits: Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck
The Dixie Chicks? Never heard of them, even though back in 2003 they held the record for top-selling female recording group of all time? Their first album, Wide Open Spaces, has sold more albums on the country music charts than any other group and ranks in the top 100 selling albums of all time. Each of their first three albums won the Grammy for Best Country Album of the Year. Country music? No wonder I had not heard of them until lead singer Natalie Maines, a Texas native, commented at a live concert in England that “…we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” The offhand remark to her English audience after telling everyone she was against violence and a war in Iraq that began just ten days later was published by a British tabloid and while the group continued their tour throughout Europe, they were unaware that the comment had been picked up by a neoconservative group in the U.S. as a patriotic cause – ban those Bush-bashing babes!
Within days, Dixie Chicks music vanished from the charts and radio, apoplectic rednecks used tractors to smash their CDs and death threats were made against them. In the documentary, the naiveté of Maines is so obvious that it’s painful as she tries to clarify not just her remarks but her own inner convictions. As the group, led by their outstanding manager, Simon Renshaw, struggles with the political storm they are inadvertently whirling in, they spend life on the road with their children in tow and husbands back stage. This documentary is a true life coming of age story where the group finds its real voice and they are Not Ready to Make Nice with the country music community as they return to road for their 2006 tour. I Like It! (Mary Nyiri)