Culture / Entertainment

A New Generation Discovers the Texas Legend of Molly Ivins Thanks to Unflinching New Movie

When Raising Hell Changes the World

BY // 08.14.19

I am incredibly disappointed in myself for not knowing who Molly Ivins was up until this week. I discovered the iconic and hilarious Texan journalist after being invited to a screening of the upcoming documentary, Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins, and now I just want to know more.

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival this winter and has a Texas only theatrical release on August 30 before expanding nationwide on September 20. Raise Hell, directed and co-written by Janice Engel, follows political journalist Molly Ivins who took on corruption whenever she found it. She had a knack for roasting political figures such as President George W. Bush and Texas government.

Starting out as an intern at the Houston Chronicle, Ivins went on to work as co-editor of the Texas Observer and then moved up to the New York Times. She was known for breaking rules and pretty much saying whatever she wanted to. One of her most memorable quotes was “Texas is the national laboratory for bad government.”

Ivins continually and hilarious bashed her home state and its policies, but only because she loved it so much. The Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist and TV personality ended up returning to work at the Dallas Times Herald in the 1980s, and then the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She wrote six books, two focusing on George W. Bush and his administration.

After a seven-year battle with breast cancer in 2007, Ivins passed away at her home in Austin. Raise Hell memorializes her as the incredible Texan and political commentator that she was. It follows her professional and personal career, touching on her struggle with alcohol and close friendship with former Texas governor Ann Richards.

Relatable to the issues America still struggles with today, the film is an inspiring story of one 6-foot-tall dynamite of a woman and her relationship with Texas and America as a whole.

This month, Texans will get a first look at the film with showings at Alamo Drafthouse Theatres across the state on August 28. The screening will follow with a Q&A with Janice Engel, Richard Linklater, and author Jim Hightower, and Texas Tribune editor Emily Ramshaw streamed live from Austin.

In the Dallas area, it’ll show at the Alamos in Denton, Lake Highlands, Las Colinas, and North Richland Hills.

Tickets are available here.


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