Suppressed 2020: The Fight To Vote by Robert Greenwald (Director of Outfoxed, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, and Making A Killing: Guns Greed and the NRA) is a short, powerful documentary about the growing threat of voter suppression to our 2020 election. Deeply personal accounts from voters of color across the state of Georgia reveal deliberate, widespread voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election where Stacey Abrams fought to become the first Black female governor in the U.S. Polling place closures, voter purges, missing absentee ballots, extreme wait times and voter ID issues were in full effect again during the 2020 primaries and are on-going across the country right now, all disproportionately affecting Black Americans and minorities from casting their ballots. Now, amidst a global health crisis, the cruel weaponization of vote-by-mail restrictions has turned the constitutional right to vote into a choice between life and death. Suppressed 2020 is a call to action against the calculated, unconstitutional and racist attacks intended to suppress the right to vote in America.
One of the great creative challenges in making films about social justice issues involves deciding how to use the craft and tools of filmmaking to effectively tell the story.
No one wants to see a film that feels like homework, or smacks of political propaganda. Viewers want to be engaged emotionally, and that means connecting on a human level to the people affected by the issue. It also means using camera angles, editing techniques, music cues and a narrative structure that help build the facts of the story piece by piece, leading viewers to their own conclusions about the issue – in this case, the infuriating state of voting rights in our country today.
With “Suppressed,” my team and I spent a lot of time seeking out real people who had experienced various tactics of voter suppression, who could be the faces of our story. My job as director was to find ways to help viewers care about these people and what had happened to them. I felt a great sense of responsibility to “do right” by our subjects, to convey the sense of how blindsided they were by the failure of our system and the complex and even insidious ways their votes were being denied.
Here are a few of the folks who were brave and generous enough to let us tell their stories:
The list goes on and on, each person and each story a reason to make this film and expose these voter suppression tactics. How long would you wait in line to vote before giving up? (Some voters in Georgia in 2018 waited 4 hours or more, and still couldn’t vote.) How far would you travel to vote if your local polling station was closed? How many phone calls would you make? How much time would you spend? How much effort would you go to before giving up?
The determination of many voters was inspiring, but still many failed to overcome the roadblocks placed before them. This isn’t right, and no voter in this country should accept this. Voting is our fundamental right, and the people who help us tell this story in “Suppressed” deserve our attention, and our action.
-- Robert Greenwald, Director
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WAS INTERVIEWED AND SHARED THEIR STORIES AND EXPERTISE
CARLOS DEL RIO
DEANDREA ANGEL WILLIAMS
Congresswoman MARCIA FUDGE
REV. BILLY M. HONOR
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY
JEANINE AND GUY SAPERSTEIN
SUPERVISING MUSIC PRODUCER
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
CASEY COOPER JOHNSON EDITOR
MARTIN W. ANDERSEN EDITOR
NOELY MENDOZA ADDITIONAL EDITING
JOSE HO-GUANIPA ADDITIONAL EDITING
CHRIS ROGERS ADDITIONAL EDITING
TIM COLLINS MOTION GRAPHICS
JAISON WILSON ADDITIONAL MOTION GRAPHICS
MARTIN W. ANDERSEN POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
KRISTINA VEGA ASSISTANT EDITOR
ANAIS BERGUES ASSISTANT EDITOR
LAURIE ASHBOURNE RESEARCH LEAD
JASON HACKMAN RESEARCH
JAMIE ROMAN RESEARCH
NOELY MENDOZA PRODUCTION FELLOW
OMAR SAMAD RE-ENACTMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY
CHERYL BEDFORD CLEARANCE MANAGER
AMBERLEE MUCHA CASTING ASSOCIATE
LAKEISHA ABRAMSON PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
VASHTI SHAKOOR PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
GENESIS LEWIS DIT
PHELPS HARMON DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY (NYC)
CARL HAYWOOD ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY (ATL)
MATT DEAN COLORIST
BRANDON GRIFFITH SOUND RE-RECORDING MIXER
Legal / Fair Use Counsel Provided by NEW MEDIA RIGHTS
Insurance Provided by Diann Peterson, ARM, Integro USA Inc.