Slay The Dragon – Review

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Audiences outside the United States may ask whether or not we can enjoy Slay the Dragon, which even compared to some other political-themed documentaries, has a much more foreign subject. Knock Down the House (2019), for example, which, although filled with election trivia, tends to prioritize women’s empowerment. Meanwhile, the film by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance, although carrying a universal theme related to democracy, specifically explores the practice of gerrymandering.

Since the opening of the film, Gary Lionelli’s music has immediately invaded the audience’s ears with an orchestra like from a suspense film, which seems to emphasize the high urgency of the issue. But then again, can audiences outside America understand the urgency? Because, let alone the definition of gerrymandering, not necessarily have an understanding of the electoral system and its political atmosphere. Even the film itself shows that there are still many local people who don’t understand this. Top Movie Site

This is where the quality of the film’s storytelling is tested. Like a teacher who is not only smart for himself, but is good at sharing his knowledge with others, Slay the Dragon is able to explain gerrymandering in a concise and clear manner, thanks to the resource person who is good at composing sentences plus effective visualization. It is not just about “what”, the reason for the practice is cheating which injures democracy is well conveyed.

You can see the full explanation directly from the film, but in short, gerrymandering is the practice of dividing electoral boundaries with the aim of seeking profit for certain political parties, which occurs every 10 years, when each state in the United States carries out redistricting. Through gerrymandering, the parties in power can ensure that in the next election, victory is still theirs.

The term “gerrymandering” was used after in 1812, the governor of Massachusetts, established a new map shaped like a salamander. After Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 election, the practice went crazy, after the Republicans who were cornered, started the REDMAP project. The division of electoral districts is increasingly absurd. Some are shaped like a dragon (the origin of the film’s title), until one of the strangest, Goofy kicks Donald Duck. Apparently that was only the beginning.

Apart from gerrymandering, the Republic has implemented other methods to minimize the chances of Democrats, including issuing regulations requiring voters to have Voter Id. The result was Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. As many as 45,000 people in Wisconsin were not allowed to vote, giving Trump victory in the state, where he has 22,000 votes. Best Movie

There are still many other facts provided by Slay the Dragon, making it an informative documentary, which will amaze ordinary audiences, especially those from outside the United States. We know that politics, including elections, is full of dirty intrigue, but bringing the audience to know how far and how systematically these intrigues are the hallmarks of Slay the Dragon. Although it must be admitted, it is likely that not all of them will be accommodated considering that so much data is present in a short time, plus cultural barriers (read: political culture) that limit the processing of information.

Besides being informative, Slay the Dragon also wants to be an inspirational documentary by describing the struggles of Katie Fahey, an activist from Michigan who is passionate about running a grassroots campaign to end gerrymandering, together with the Voters Not Politicians (VNP) organization she founded. The hope is that VNP’s journey from a small ripple that is doubtful will be able to collect 350,000 signatures on the petition into a national scale action that shakes the corrupt system, can move the hearts of the audience through the message “People’s voice will win”.

But there is one important point that the film forgets. It was stated that VNP had succeeded in reversing observers’ predictions, where the majority doubted their capacity. The question is: How? When many people don’t even know the meaning of gerrymandering, how has that success been achieved? Slay the Dragon forces the audience to accept the “miracle” as an inspirational achievement, at a time when it is not a miracle. There are many details that require understanding. But as a knowledge enhancer, this film is definitely worth watching. Movie Review

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