By Mark Saldana
Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)
In the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, Stacey Abrams became the first African-African female nominee for a major party. After a hard-fought campaign, Abrams lost to her Republican opponent Brian Kemp. On the surface of things, this kind of loss probably seemed normal; however, to Abrams and her supporters, this was simply another example of a greater problem that has plagued U.S. politics and the voting rights of its citizens for far too many years. Filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes have made an insightful and revealing documentary that offers its viewers a hard-hitting lesson about the history of voter suppression in the United States. All In: The Fight For Democracy not only concisely and intelligent reveals the voter suppression policies that helped Brian Kemp win his gubernatorial election over Abrams, it also discusses the various, often disturbing ways, public policy in the United States have infringed upon and impeded the voting rights of the nation’s citizens.
The right to vote is a freedom U.S. citizens often take for granted. People who have never faced any form of prejudice, along with those who have been fortunate enough to receive a solid education are usually the ones who have never had to encounter the slap-in-the face that is voter suppression. It was the uneducated, the impoverished, and enslaved who were not able to vote in this country, originally. In addition to these groups, women did not have the right when this nation first began. Throughout our history, as the poor, enslaved, and oppressed first had the tastes of freedom, laws were enacted to guarantee their rights to politcal represantation.
However, the state and local governments also enacted various policies and laws that helped strip these rights away. For example, gerrymandering, unreasonable voting requirements, and other highly questionable and unethical practices have unfairly targeted poor and oppressed people, interfering with their voting rights. Such is the case with Stacey Abrams’s 2018 run for governor of Alabama. In fact, it was her opponent Brian Kemp, himself, who oversaw the recent changes to voting requirements in Alabama which targeted the various people who supported Abrams.
These are the various issues that this educational, but often maddening, documentary reveals. Working with various activists and others fighting for unbiased voter rights in the U.S., directors Garbus and Cortes use their film as a sadly necessary rallying cry for the real democracy the United States has promised its citizens for so long, but is actually sorely lacking. It is a film I passionately reccommend for all United States citizens, particularly those who often feel apolitical of apethetic about the state politics in our country. All In: The Fight For Democracy will be available for streaming on Amazon beginning Friday, September 18, 2020.