Thursday, March 4, 2021

Movie with Abe: All In: The Fight for Democracy

All In: The Fight for Democracy
Directed by Lisa Cortes and Liz Garbus
Released September 18, 2020 (Amazon Prime Video)

Almost anyone who voted in the 2020 United States presidential election will agree that there were substantial issues with the process that suggest very serious problems to be remedied within the system. Democrats cite numerous instances of voter suppression and obstacles to access for minority communities around the country, while Republicans allege widespread voter fraud that tipped the results in the favor of the other party in multiple states. It’s not an argument in which both sides deserve to be given equal time, and this highly informative and urgent documentary released months before disputing results led to a siege on the capitol is among the strongest and most incontrovertible evidence.

Stacey Abrams is one of the central figures in this film, an early rising star decades before she decided to run for Governor of Georgia. The fact that her opponent in the race, Brian Kemp, was unconcerned with the conflict of interest that existed from his serving as secretary of state, in addition to his active efforts to limit the voter pool, make Abrams particularly qualified to discuss a long history of creating new rules designed to keep certain populations from having their voices heard while advantaging those never subjected to the same restrictions. Other historians and experts offer considerable support for unsettling observations and conclusions about the many abhorrent flaws of the election process.

Watching this film is an intense, emotional experience because of the overwhelming number of events and examples of how efforts to subjugate the opinions and influence of those deemed inferior by the ruling class have been codified into law so that they are seen not as amoral but instead somehow necessary to uphold. Abrams is simply one of the most visible and recent examples because of how close her race was when her opponent was in charge of running the election, and this film offers a comprehensive and deeply compelling overview of the history of the United States and how this is one place where racism is undeniably systemic.

It’s astonishing to think that this film was made before a majority of Republicans in Congress refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election since it covers many of the themes, including the frequent invocation of voter fraud used to justify the passage of laws that purport to improve the veracity and integrity of the process rather than to purposely make it harder for already disadvantaged communities to participate. The silver lining that, two years after the timeline portrayed in this film, Georgia now has two Democratic Senators who were able to win thanks in no small part to the extraordinary registration efforts undertaken by Abrams, doesn’t make this film any easier to watch but does show the positive power of activism and the pursuit of a fair and honest framework that is actually representative of the people empowered to vote.


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