Slay the Dragon: Political Docu

Tribeca Film Fest 2019: Highlights

Gerrymandering has been a popular topic recently, and for good reason. Beyond the blatant political interests fueling the practice, gerrymandering has led to an erosion of democracy, a disregard for the voter, and without it various events in the past years would not have been pulled off. Slay the Dragon draws direct connections between this practice and the Flint water crisis, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s removal of collective bargaining for public employees, bathroom bills, racism, and voter ID laws.

We learn about packing and cracking and witness creative redistricting lines full of twists, curves, and squiggles to guarantee a certain majority.

But we also experience hope in the form of Katie Fahey, a Michigander who forms the group Voters Not Politicians working to bring a measure onto the state’s ballot to require an independent group—not the legislature—to draw the lines.

In Wisconsin, an activist group challenges the state’s redistricting in a case that makes its way to the US Supreme Court.

Directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance present a detailed, upsetting, ultimately inspiring look—balancing the facts and maps with the tireless work of people like Fahey to get us to act to ensure that democracy will survive.

—Brian Gordon

After the Premiere Screening: a conversation with directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durance, subject Katie Fahey, author of the national bestseller Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count David Daley, and Senior Reporter at Mother Jones and author of Give Us the Ballot Ari Berman. Moderated by professor and political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry.
Documentary, Politics, Special Events

About the Director(s)
Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance have directed several films together, including Clinton for PBS’s American Experience, and the six-part series Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.  They have won numerous Peabody, Emmy®, and Writers Guild Awards, and an Academy Award® nomination.

Chris Durrance
Chris Durrance is a documentary filmmaker who has worked on more than a dozen films for PBS FRONTLINE, including College Inc., The Madoff Affair and Return of the Taliban. He is the winner of a Peabody, two Emmys, a duPont-Columbia Silver Baton and an Overseas Press Club award. He has worked with Barak Goodman on Clinton, the four-hour presidential biography, and Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies. More recently, he produced a biography of President Ford and is currently producing The Gene, slated for broadcast on PBS in 2020.

Katie Fahey
As founder of the grassroots, nonpartisan campaign, Voters Not Politicians, Katie Fahey started a political movement in 2016 that would take on gerrymandering in Michigan by amending the State Constitution with 61 percent of the vote. Fahey began her career with SpartanNash, creating their first sustainability program. Before that, she worked for Michigan Recycling Coalition. Fahey now is executive director of The People, a nonprofit that aims to unite citizens from across the country and across the political spectrum in altering the status quo. Fahey graduated from Aquinas College in 2011 with degrees in Sustainable Business and Community Leadership.

Ari Berman
Ari Berman is a senior reporter at Mother Jones, covering voting rights, and a reporting fellow at Type Media Center. He’s the author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America and Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics. He won a 2017 Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media.