Disclosure: I backed this film on Kickstarter.
Firings over Facebook posts.
Beatings over votes in national elections.
Facebook and Google taking it upon themselves to decide what news should be seen.
And then colleges and universities working overtime to silence conservatives.
This is the backdrop against which lawyer, author, and activist Mike Cernovich, in concert with filmmaker Loren Feldman, has made Silenced: Our War on Free Speech.
This film is done as a series of interviews with people both notable and unknown about the topic of free speech as it relates to their profession, area of study, or social milieu. There are no distracting musical scores or weird graphics to take away from what is being said — you get the truth about free speech in modern America straight on. Since many of the interviewees were themselves involved in controversies about stuff they said, they are not speaking about it from a detached or theoretical point of view; they have been through the belly of the beast and can see plainly where our culture is headed when it comes to respect for free expression.
The camera work is very slick and professionally done; each interview had good pacing and was a decent length. Each person was very articulate about what they were talking about, and while many of them came off as strong advocates of free speech, it never had the vibe of a “hit piece” since they weren’t preaching against any one person or organization.
The only major gripe is that there were no interviews with social justice warriors. If Cernovich wanted to make as balanced a film as he intended, he would have included some; however, they would have to be willing to at least speak to him, and they usually don’t like to explain themselves, so it’s not entirely his fault.
All in all, Silenced is a good documentary, well worth anyone’s time wherever they stand on the issue of free speech. It has not been officially released yet, but Cernovich will announce the release on his Twitter (if he isn’t banned) and on his website.