Shut Up & Sing | 2006
On stage at a 2003 London concert, Natalie Maines, lead singer of Texan trio the Dixie Chicks, spoke these 15 words to a small audience at the start of their sold-out international tour: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." The comment was delivered on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq, and drew cheers from the decidedly anti-war and anti-Bush British crowd. It was an off-the-cuff remark typical of the lead singer's temperament. Natalie, and fellow Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, thought little of it. But history and this film demonstrate that at this heightened moment of political polarization in the United States, many people did care, and empowered this simple, yet loaded remark to carry serious and longstanding ramifications. The documentary shows the band from their peak of popularity as the national-anthem-singing darlings of country music and top-selling female recording artists of all time, through the now infamous anti-Bush comment, and on through the days, months and years of mayhem. The film also follows the lives and careers of the musicians through the writing and recording of their first album since "the incident"--and three years of political attack, making music, birthing babies, bonding, death threats, and laughter.