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ACLU Vs. Trump in ‘The Fight’

The legal battles between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Trump administration is the subject of a new documentary, The Fight.

The legal battles between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Trump administration is the subject of a new documentary The Fight, depicting the former as noble advocates and the latter as a bastion for injustice.

Produced by Hollywood actress Kerry Washington (TV’s “Scandal”), the new doc focuses on four separate cases that represent some hot-button issues during the Trump administration: the right of a migrant to an abortion, the right of transgender people to serve in the military, the right of migrants not to be separated from their children, and the right of US residents not to answer a new census question about whether they are US citizens.

Filmed at the ACLU offices in Brooklyn, New York, The Fight depicts lawyers as heroic advocates but also conflicted workers who will represent cases they may disagree with — such as the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville in 2017. This is all in the name of one of the ACLU’s chief principles: free speech.

Washington is vocal in her praise of the lawyers featured in the film — Lee Gelernt, Brigitte Amiri, Chase Strangio and Dale Ho — and their work: “[they] are like the Avengers. This is a superhero action movie about people who are fighting insane battles for all of us. They’re doing it with humor, and grace, and humility, and they’re just so inspiring, and fun, and wonderful to watch.”

The Fight is directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman and Eli Despres, who were behind 2016’s documentary, Weiner, which focused on the sexting scandal of politician Anthony Weiner.

The film coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

A nonpartisan organization, the ACLU has been met with support and criticism by both liberal and conservative organizations alike. The ACLU provides legal assistance in cases where it considers civil liberties to be at risk.

The Fight had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2020, where it won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking. Reviews have been positive and noted the film’s favor for the ACLU, as well as its timely release while the country is embroiled in heated debate over racial inequality.

The Fight premiered on demand on July 31, by Magnolia Pictures.


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