‘Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins’ Trailer Puts the Spotlight on a Texan Firebrand

Written by Margaret Rasberry on August 12, 2019 

Molly Ivins, the consistently acerbic and witty liberal journalist whose writings and interviews have continued to influence myriad journalists and political pundits has been given the documentary treatment with Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins. An official selection of Sundance, the film traces her early roots writing for the Texas Observer to writing for The New York Times and The Washington Post while staying true to her southern heritage, all while keeping her liberal convictions intact regardless of criticism or attacks on her person.

Ahead of a release starting in NYC on  September 6, the film will have a special one-night screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in South Lamar, Austin TX on August 28, to be followed by a panel discussion with the director Janice Engel, Richard Linklater, Jim Hightower, and Emily Ramshaw. The panel will be livestreamed to Drafthouse locations across Texas that same night and full runs in Texas will begin August 30, which is quite fitting for the subject at the heart of the documentary.

John Fink said in his review, “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins is a funny portrait of a quick-witted satirist who called it as it was, unafraid to be a little mean to the narcissists who were just glad to see their name in print. Tracing her life and career from her early years at Smith as she fades from a lively firebrand to her battle with breast cancer, Engel has directed a comprehensive and hugely documentary with a rapid-fire pace. Like Ivins, there is nary a moment when the film isn’t colorfully documenting the generation of tough-as-nails Texas women who took on status quo and even, in the case of Ann Richards, briefly won over Texas’ “Bubba” vote. It was an exciting era to be a progressive, or so this film makes it seem.”

See the trailer and poster below.

RAISE HELL: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins tells the story of media firebrand Molly Ivins, six feet of Texas trouble who took on the Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Her razor sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing, and craving ink in her columns. She knew the Bill of Rights was in peril, and said “Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.” Molly’s words have proved prescient. Now it’s up to us to raise hell!

Raise Hell: The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins opens on September 6.


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