EXCLUSIVE: In a clip from the forthcoming Sundance documentary Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, the spotlight is put on Texas journalist, best-selling author and ACLU activist Molly Ivins who Rachel Maddow says “was not afraid to be angry.”
The clip starts with the outspoken figure describing two kinds of humor: the kind that illustrates our “common humanity and foibles” and the kind that holds people to “contempt and ridicule.” In regards to the latter Ivins says, “That’s what I do.”
Directed by Janice Engel, Raise Hell, chronicles the life of political columnist and Texas maverick who spoke truth to power and gave voice to those that had none. Molly used humor like Mark Twain — to skewer the powerful, protect the helpless, and to shine a light on bad government. Six-foot-tall with flaming red hair, Molly was a fearless reporter who stopped at nothing, not even death threats, to speak truth.
At the height of her popularity, 400 newspapers carried her column. Her blistering way with words was feared by the political elite on all sides of the aisle, but her refreshing critique and big heart garnered a die-hard following from around the country. From her lonely perch in the heart of the deep red South, Molly warned the country about George W Bush’s temperament and non-existent political record. It was she who dubbed him “Shrub: the little Bush”.
In the clip above, you can see her dragging Pat Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention citing a “religious and cultural war.” She responded to his words by saying “I personally thought it was better in German.”
Ivins died from cancer in 2007, but Engel makes her legacy live on with the documentary. Her messaging and brand of commentary strikes a particular chord in today’s hostile political climate. Raise Hell premieres Jan. 28 at Prospector Square Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival.