With unique access to a sitting member of Congress, Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power tells the complex story of Rep. Barbara Lee, a steadfast voice for human rights, peace, and economic and racial justice who was the lone vote in opposition to the broad authorization of military force following the September 11th attacks and is the highest-ranking African American woman in the United States Congress.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ashleigh C. comments, “The fantastic documentary, Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power, directed by Abby Ginzberg shares an historic story generations should witness. I admire how this documentary focuses more on the current impact of Barbara Lee. Many documentaries based on a single influential person are solely focused on the past, while this film does not.” Ayden P. adds, “Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power is an inspirational documentary. My attention was really captured by Barbara’s transition from a single mother on public assistance to an activist with a political career built on a promise to help others.” See their full reviews below.
Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power
By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
The fantastic documentary, Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power, directed by Abby Ginzberg shares an historic story generations should witness. I admire how this documentary focuses more on the current impact of Barbara Lee. Many documentaries based on a single influential person are solely focused on the past, while this film does not.
Barbara Lee is currently a United States Congresswoman who has pushed boundaries and broken glass ceilings. This documentary follows the initiatives she stands for and how she has impacted the politics as the 100th Black member of Congress.
It is exciting to see so many familiar faces throughout this film, such as, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and the late former Congressman John Lewis. The flow and organization of this film is my favorite aspect. As most documentaries are known to be information heavy, I love how Director Abby Ginzberg starts the film off with Lee’s most recent endeavors. This demonstrates that Congresswoman Lee is still making history and that I am living in it! It is interesting to see how Barbara Lee differs from other politicians—her life in this film is depicted as one large campaign trail to get more people involved in what she advocates for.
Barbara Lee says the message of this documentary herself, stating, “You have to be true to yourself.” Also, although faced with so much controversy and hardship throughout life, we must, in every circumstance, know who we are and act accordingly. This film is a call to action from all of us to take a stand on the issues we care about.
I give Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power, 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommended it to ages 7 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power on STARZ premiering February 1, 2022.
Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power
By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power is an inspirational documentary. My attention was really captured by Barbara’s transition from a single mother on public assistance to an activist with a political career built on a promise to help others.
The story is about Representative Barbara Lee, who is a voice for human rights, peace and equality. One point of significance is that Barbara Lee is the lone voice in opposition to the authorization of military force after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Barbara Lee is also the highest ranking African-American woman in the U.S. Congress.
This film highlights Barbara’s struggles as a child growing up in a segregated town, to being a divorced single parent; through these struggles we can see what motivates her to better her family’s circumstances. Barbara Lee helps people who need assistance because it’s the right thing to do. She does it with a smile on her face, making me truly believe that she loves what she does and that it is her true calling. We get many glimpses of the woman and the politician as we see Barbara Lee in her office, in her car, in meetings and in her home. This gives a real picture into what makes Barbara Lee inspirational —she represents so many viewers like the single mother, divorced people, those on welfare, non-traditional college students, barrier breakers and servant leaders. Audiences also will see what colleagues, family and friends think of Barbara Lee. Notables like Cory Booker, the late John Lewis, Danny Glover and Barbara’s son all discuss Barbara and their observations. It is also noteworthy to see the adversity Barbara faced being the lone voice opposing force after 9/11. Even when people were very critical of her, she remained steadfast in her beliefs. This steadfastness is a theme in the documentary.
The message of Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power is to fight for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone or to be the first to do something. We are all capable of lending our voices to help and stand up for others.
I give Barbara Lee: Speak Truth to Power 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. The film is featured on STARZ beginning February 1, 2022 for Black History Month.
KEYWORDS: Barbara Lee, Cory Booker, John Lewis, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Van Jones, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Boots Riley, Chinaka Hodge, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Abby Ginzberg, Joslyn Rose Lyons, Vicente Franco, Stephanie Mechura