3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 45 minutes
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“Shutdown” is a documentary about Direct Action to Stop the War (DASW), which effectively closed San Francisco at the start of the Iraq war. It is not, however, a piece of cheerleading for DASW. It is a critical examination of the organization from insiders, the people who made it happen. Not a single one of the people interviewed comes across as thinking DASW was without its faults, and all have suggestions as to how it could have been better, which is refreshing in and of itself.

What is also refreshing is the effectiveness of DASW. No, it didn’t stop the war, but it shut down a city and demonstrated that actions of this type can have an impact. It opened people’s eyes and let businesses know that their operations could be stymied through nothing more than protest and planning. If that’s not inspirational, I don’t know what is.

If civil disobedience, anti-war movements, and direct action are things you are interested in, this is probably one the best documentaries to come out in awhile. It’s an honest look at the positives and negatives equated with these actions, and it investigates many of the external problems that occurred in pulling off DASW, such as the media and police response.

Watch and learn.

Posted on November 23, 2009 in Reviews by

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