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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The ACLU Freedom Files
movies for describing the many areas in which the ACLU
(American Civil Liberties Union) defends the rights of all of us.

The ACLU Freedom Files DVD Collection

The ACLU Freedom Files (2006) - 358 minutes
The ACLU Freedom Files at

From Robert Greenwald, who brought you Unconstitutional, Outfoxed and Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

The American Civil Liberties Union and Robert Greenwald present The ACLU Freedom Files, a revolutionary, 10-part series of documentaries that tell the stories of real people in America whose civil liberties were threatened and shows how they fought back. This dynamic new series, produced and directed by Emmy Award winner Jeremy Kagan, combines interviews, documentary footage, comedy, drama, music and animation to engage viewers and alert them to critical civil rights issues ranging from free speech to religious freedom.

Features the following episodes:

Program Synopses:

  • Religious Freedom
    • The right of every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. But while the United States is home to more than 1,500 different faiths and some 360,000 houses of worship, religious freedom faces threats on many fronts. This program is a crucial reminder of the founders' intent regarding religion - that it be a matter for individuals, not the government.
  • Voting Rights
    • The right to vote is a keystone of democracy, but many Americans still fight for this fundamental freedom despite the passage 41 years ago of the Voting Rights Act, which aimed to ensure fairness in the political process. With vital parts of the VRA up for renewal in 2007, even more citizens could find themselves disenfranchised. "Voting Rights" takes you to communities where people's electoral power is diluted through the manipulation of political districts, intimidation at polls, and unfair laws, and introduces you to individuals who are doing their part for true democracy.
  • Gay & Lesbian Rights
    • Children separated from parents, loved ones left alone to battle illness, shared property seized by the state - these scenarios may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but they're all too real for gay and lesbian families. This episode - which also includes humorous takes on heavy issues by comedians Judy Gold and Margaret Cho - shows the harm that occurs when loving couples' relationships aren't recognized.
  • Women's Rights
    • Women have made great gains in the fight for equality, but gender bias continues to create huge barriers for many - especially for immigrants, women with low incomes, survivors of domestic violence, and women seeking reproductive health care. "Women's Rights" introduces you to strong women who overcame violence, exploitation and discrimination, took action to change the world.
  • Youth Speak
    • Young people in this country are often treated as if the Bill of Rights applies only to those over 18. In many schools, for instance, students' writings are censored, backpacks and lockers are searched without cause, and low-income students are expected to learn in wretched conditions. In this episode, you'll meet young people whose rights were violated and who fought back.
  • Drug Wars
    • America's "war on drugs" has done nothing to reduce drug abuse, despite massive spending on law enforcement. Instead, it has diverted resources from fighting other crimes, fostered racial profiling and put millions behind bars. Meanwhile, people with serious illnesses are prevented from accessing medications that could help them. These stories and others show how the "war on drugs" has become a war on Americans.
  • Beyond the Patriot Act
    • "Beyond the Patriot Act" tells how a misguided law and other government overreactions to Sep. 11 are restricting our most basic constitutional freedoms and threatening America's system of checks and balances. This episode features people like Patricia David, whose husband was secretly deported to Pakistan after Sept. 11, and Abdulameer Habeeb, a political refugee who was tortured by Saddam Hussein and found himself imprisoned in America without cause.
  • The Supreme Court
    • "The Supreme Court" tells the story of Lindsay Earls, a teenage girl from Oklahoma who stood up for her right to privacy, only to find herself in the highest court in the country. The show does more than follow a principle through the legal system. It demystifies the arcane workings of the high court, with Lindsay and her family describing their personal experience in dramatic detail, and ACLU attorneys offering behind-the-scenes perspectives on the justices' character and voting records. As we find out how each judge voted on Lindsay's case and wait with her for the final verdict, the suspense builds.
  • Dissent
    • "Dissent" tells the stories of average Americans who were exercising their right to free speech and dissent, only to be harassed or arrested. Take Marine and Gulf War veteran Eric Shaw, who fought for the freedoms we take for granted. But when he took part in a peaceful demonstration against the current Iraq War, he ended up getting shot with wooden pellets by the Oakland, Calif. police. "Dissent" also features Lewis Black from Comedy Central's The Daily Show - "America's foremost commentator on almost everything" - who gives his take on the current state of dissent with his trademark biting wit.
  • Racial Profiling
    • More than four decades after the civil rights movement began, Americans are still treated as suspects because of the color of their skin. "Racial Profiling" features people who took action to combat police misconduct after they were pulled over and assaulted by state troopers for "DWB" (Driving While Black or Brown). Hip-hop artist M-1 and members of his group, dead prez, tell how they were attacked by police and jailed for days without charges being brought. This episode also shows how South Asian immigrants who came to this country to pursue the American dream lost everything because of post-Sept. 11 profiling.

The ACLU Freedom Files DVD Collection

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The ACLU Freedom Files
movies for describing the many areas in which the ACLU
(American Civil Liberties Union) defends the rights of all of us.