A nationally-syndicated political columnist and author of seven books, Molly Ivins was a pickup-driving, beer-swigging Texan with a foul mouth who just so happened to be a liberal. Raise Hell: The Life and Times Of Molly Irvins is a new documentary that tells the story of the prescient woman who chronicled the country’s political trajectory from the 1970s until her death in 2007, all while somehow managing to keep a smile on her face.
An LA-based documentary film professor, Janice Engel was inspired to write, direct, and produce the film after she saw a one-woman show starring Kathleen Turner called Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. “I was knocked out by who Molly Ivins was, how she spoke and who she so brilliantly skewered,” Engel said in a director’s statement. “I also discovered on a much more personal level that both Molly and I shared a similar trajectory: a deep distrust of patriarchal authority and a need to stand up for the underdog.”
Spoiler alert. Even though Ivins was from Texas, she often called her home state the “national laboratory for bad government.” She believed that political fools were fair game, and that it was her duty to help show the American people who they really elected — especially president George W. Bush. As Rachel Maddow says in the film, “The people who Molly took apart were the right people to aim at, and they knew it. People who had power and misused it — those are the people who she aimed at.”
A shy bookworm of a girl, Ivins shot up to six feet in height by the time she was 12 years old. “I always felt like a St. Bernard with a bunch of greyhounds; a clydesdale among thoroughbreds,” she’d quip in her signature Texas drawl.
Author: Tanja M. Laden / High Times