Billy O’Keefe and the McClatchy Tribune’s DVD Release Announcement

April 14, 2013 — Billy O’Keefe’s DVD release announcement for the McClatchy Tribune.


“A feature film isn’t the best medium through which to present five instances around the world — Egypt, Ukraine, Venezuela, Malaysia and Zimbabwe — of oppressed citizens finally having enough and striking back against their governments. But as a primer or some kind of democracy-in-action starter pack, “A Whisper to a Roar” pretty much gets it perfectly right. “Roar” cycles periodically between countries as if to present five smaller three-act films at once, with each scenario getting a who’s who and what’s what before the film returns later to dig deeper and present each populace’s discontent in more personal detail. If that doesn’t sound dry on paper, it certainly sounds repetitive. But tedium never stands a chance against “Roar’s” storytelling approach, which mixes the empirical and personal so thoroughly as to make them one. These aren’t current events lessons so much as stories about what’s going on out there, and while “Roar” leaves most of the talking to others — there’s no narrator, only the occasional text blurb providing context — it takes special care to give faces to every name on both sides of authority. The real stories begin where this ends, because the best way to follow a revolution in 2013 is live and from the mouths and keyboards of those on the ground as things unfold. But for those who need a crash course first, “Roar” is as productive a 90-minute class as you’re likely to find.”

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