Fans of Molly Ivins, the legendary Texas journalist, humorist, and media firebrand whose byline appeared in more than 400 newspapers nationwide, will be glad to know the wait is almost over for the new documentary about her life, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.
The gripping new film hits theaters around Texas on August 30, but Alamo Drafthouse will feature special advance screenings around the state on August 28. Locally, they'll take place at Alamo in Park North and Stone Oak at 7 pm. The Park North screening is sold out, but few seats remain at Stone Oak.
After the screenings, a conversation with filmmaker Richard Linklater, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, Texas Tribune editor in chief Emily Ramshaw, and director Janice Engel, which will be live-streamed from an Austin theater.
The documentary is directed by award-winning filmmaker Janice Engel (no relation to Margaret and Allison Engel, the twin-sister journalists who wrote the 2010 play Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins).
Raise Hell chronicles Ivins' career as a sharp-tongued, rabble-rousing, leftist reporter and columnist who went after corruption wherever she found it — particularly on the floor of the Texas Capitol.
Among the newspapers that featured Ivins' bylines were The New York Times, Washington Post, Texas Observer, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Ivins died in Austin in 2007 at the age of 62, after a long bout with Stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer.
Ivins was not your typical political reporter. Brash, witty, and standing 6 feet tall, she spent her 40-year career fighting corruption, defending free speech, and making all the right enemies. A pioneering woman in a male-dominated field, she skewered the good old boys with her incisive writing and her gift for deploying a well-timed bon mot torpedo on her targets.
Both moving and hilarious, the film is a candid portrait of a reporter who shined with moral clarity, even while matching legislators drink for drink. Dan Rather, Paul Begala, and Rachel Maddow are some of the people who are interviewed. A portion of ticket sales from the film will be split between the ACLU and The Texas Observer.
Raise Hell will hit screens nationwide in September.
Showings for Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins are available via the documentary website.