What's the Matter with Kansas? (2009)
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Critic Reviews for What's the Matter with Kansas?
It's condescending, it's vague, it's unfair and, ultimately, it's pointless.
The specific roots of a pervasive sense of disenfranchisement are barely described, as are strategies for liberals seeking to reclaim the state.
Paradoxically, the movie feels dated in the sense that it pre-dates both the recession and Obama's campaign, yet prescient in illuminating a crisis that plagues us today.
Funny? Scary? Entirely logical? It all depends on your point of view, of course, and What's the Matter With Kansas? isn't likely to move viewers one way or another.
It's finally a very sad movie, because it speaks to the profound depths of the political division in this country.
Audience Reviews for What's the Matter with Kansas?
Here is the thesis of the book: Republicans use social and religious issues to motivate lower income people to vote against their economic self-interest. As you can see, the thesis of the book is very interesting, and it would be good if there were a film that explored this thesis with specific examples, math, interviews with candidates, profiles of Republican supporters, liberals' work using reason and logic to convince Republican voting bases to switch their votes, and a look at the root of the political shift in the southern demographics. But this film does none of that. Instead, in the words of Kyle Smith of The New York Post, "It's condescending, it's vague, it's unfair and, ultimately, it's pointless." The film presents a few "enlightened" liberal southerners and a lot of Christian fundamentalist southerners. In the end, the film doesn't rise to the level of any political commentary, not to the degree that the book did. Overall, I was very disappointed with this film, and like most things, one would be better served by reading than watching the film.
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