|America: From Freedom to Fascism
2006 - unrated - 95 Mins.
|Director: Aaron Russo
|Producer: Aaron Russo
|Written By: Aaron Russo
|Starring: Aaron Russo, Ron Paul, G. Edward Griffin, Katherine Albrecht and Joe Banister
|Review by: Bill King
|Official Site: www.freedomtofascism.com/
'America: From Freedom to Fascism' is a brilliant exposé on the corruptive nature of the Federal Reserve System and Internal Revenue Service. Unlike other documentarians who propose to stick it to the government with their questionable ammunition, writer/director Aaron Russo uses the greatest weapon of all to back up his arguments, and that is the U.S. Constitution itself. With the wisdom of the Founding Fathers on his side, and with a slate of knowledgeable personnel from various professions, Russo makes a case that stands up loud and strong. It is an angry film, filled with passion and seething with frustration.
It all revolves around a simple question. Is the average American required to pay an income tax? That might seem like a stupid question, with the 16th Amendment apparently granting that power to Congress, but the documentary proves the question relevant by dusting off Supreme Court decisions that would contend otherwise. Russo searches for the answer, but he isn't alone. Hundreds of Americans have been seeking answers for years, but the IRS doesn't come out and say anything definitive. When Russo finally meets with one IRS employee, he asks the simplest of questions, but his subject responds with contradictions and double talk.
Russo doesn't confine his presentation to one subject. He and his colleagues take a close look at the Constitution, especially those areas relating to money, and describe its proper functions and how it relates to each of us. They discuss exactly where income tax money goes, and who actually pays for schools and roads. We don't get a complete dissection of the Constitution, but we do get an excellent overview of how the government is supposed to work, and how it has broken away from its roots.
Various other topics get a fair amount of attention. Spy chips are tiny RF devices that can be inserted under the skin or placed on items, including money, for tracking purposes. The Real ID Act is a national ID card that holds a slew of personal information. These things received some press coverage, but the news stories were delivered by enthusiastic businessmen or politicians who believe their inventions will somehow improve our quality of life. Russo argues against such insane ideas, which go against the principles upon which our country was founded.
The documentary makes its case with news broadcasts, headlines, police footage, reenactments, quotations and interviews with people personally affected by an intrusive government. One family discusses its nightmare situation with agents who thought these people were drug dealers, and, elsewhere, we see shocking footage of a woman being tasered for driving with a suspended license. My favorite segment has a juror talk about how she and her fellow jury members acquitted a person for not paying income taxes, because the prosecution just couldn't bring in evidence that this man was even required to pay anything.
There is absolutely nothing about this documentary that should ever be considered unpatriotic. The people behind and in front of the camera are patriots who have a deep understanding of their field of study, and they love their country enough to challenge the establishment politicians and press to reveal another side of the story that goes uncovered. Thomas Jefferson himself said, "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive."
'America: From Freedom to Fascism' reveals how dangerous it is for a country to rely on a central bank for funding. This allows the government to spread out of control, because there is no limited resource (such as gold and silver) to impede it. The documentary is an amazing collection of facts, all sorted out in a manner that is easy to comprehend. Quotes from historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson abound.
One of my favorite quotes from American history can be attributed to Daniel Webster, a Senator and Secretary of State in the first half of the 19th century. He said, "From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing." Aaron Russo's job here is to raise awareness, so that one day we can properly scrutinize the wisdom of the Federal Reserve and Income Tax, and hopefully end them.
NOTE: The reviewer saw the film at a special sneak preview. The movie will play at the Cannes Film Festival in May. According to Aaron Russo, the film will be released in Los Angeles and New York City in late July, and will open up in more cities in the following weeks.