SILVERDOCS: ‘Ann Richards’ Texas’ by Bari Biern

Ann Richards was a whip-smart feisty feminist elected to govern the state of Texas. She was the second woman and the last Democrat to hold that office. Richards attained national prominence as the keynote speaker at the 1988 Democratic national convention, when she famously skewered Republican presidential candidate George H. W. Bush, “Poor George! He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

Governor Ann Richards.

The film chronicles the charismatic Richards as she navigates the wacky world of Texas politics, which the late columnist Molly Ivins called the “finest form of free entertainment ever invented.” The movie spotlights Richards’ successful efforts to help revitalize the state’s faltering economy and her initiatives in education and prison reform. She served as governor from 1991 until 1995, when she was succeeded by George W. Bush.

First-time feature directors Keith Patterson and Jack Lofton feature interviews with President Bill Clinton, Tom Brokaw, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and other boldface figures who knew or worked with Richards, but the film is hampered by a number of unfortunate choices, including a poorly mixed soundtrack and bafflingly inappropriate music.

With some judicious editing and a cleaner, less distracting soundtrack, Ann Richards’ Texas might become a film as classy and polished as its subject.

Ann Richards’ Texas (USA) 85 minutes

More information and purchase tickets

Ann Richards’ Texas  website.

Thursday, June 32, 6:00pm
Saturday, June 23, 4:30pm

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Bari Biern
Bari Biern is an actress/playwright/lyricist whose first musical, 'A Dance Against Darkness: Living with AIDS' (with composer Roy Barber) was nominated for Helen Hayes Awards as Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Resident Musical. She wrote the lyrics for 'Riddle Me a Prince,' a children’s musical which premiered at Imagination Stage, with book by Ernie Joselovitz and Harry Bagdasian, and music by Emmy Award winner, Lenny Williams. She contributes lyrics to the political satire troupe, the Capitol Steps, and has been performing with them since 1993. Bari was the lyricist for the critically-acclaimed In Series production of 'The Marriage of Figaro: Las Vegas Version.' That opera (with dialogue by Elizabeth Pringle) was presented by Philadelphia’s Poor Richard’s Opera Company as part of the 2010 Philly Fringe Festival. Poor Richard’s also presented 'Gianni Schicchi,' featuring Bari’s English libretto. In 2011, Bari was the librettist for WAM2, a co-production of the In Series and the Washington Ballet. She also wrote the script for the In Series’ 'Arlen Blues & Berlin Ballads,' which premiered earlier this year. Bari has reviewed theatre and film in the DC area for WAMU-FM’s Metro Connection.


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