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  Galvanizing Film Classic
“A far-ranging exposé of hate politics that crosses lines of race,

religion and sexual identity” (B. Ruby Rich)

As the polarizing issue of gay marriage re-invigorates the “cultural wars” of the last two decades, the classic documentary Ballot Measure 9 continues to resonate. The film shocked movie-goers in 1995 with its inside views of a divisive gay-rights battle and the unprecedented violence the campaign rhetoric provoked across the state of Oregon. Families were torn apart; neighbor set against neighbor. Leading activists slept with guns under their beds, wore bullet proof vests, and were given full-time police protection.

Culled from hundreds of hours of material shot over the nine months leading to the election, Ballot Measure 9 tells a story of driving suspense and urgency, engaging the audience viscerally in the lives of the characters. It also dissects the rhetoric, revealing a more pernicious and far-reaching agenda of divisiveness and intolerance.

Ballot Measure 9 places in context the long road to equal rights for all citizens, and continues to inspire a larger community with its vivid illustration of a broad based, diverse civil rights campaign. Winner of jury and audience awards internationally, from the Sundance Film Festival to Berlin, from Los Angeles to Edinburgh, Ballot Measure 9 was often named by critics as one of the best films of the year.

FOR EDUCATORS AND LIBRARIES: Ballot Measure 9 is a starting point for dialogue about the democratic process in America. A chilling portrait of the politics of intolerance, the film offers a valuable window to discussions about the kind of society in which we want to live. An essential media resource, the film is recommended for high schools and universities, public libraries, community and civil liberties groups.


FOR CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: This account of successful grassrootsorganizing is an instructive model and inspirational organizing tool, "it just might be the next training manual on how to rescue the soul of America." (B. Ruby Rich).

Read more about the story and the measure.

Download Press Kit with bios of the characters,
dialogue transcript, or info for educators.

A film by Heather Lyn MacDonald