Sunday, October 21, 2007
If you've searched for Pirate Radio related documentaries on film, you'll know that less than a handful exist- if you can unearth them. They don't exactly atract lucritive distribution deals and glowing reviews from the mainstream press. Just in time to save us from the tedious monotony of this year's films, B-Side has released Pirate Radio USA on DVD.
DJ Him and DJ Her take bring the viewer on a live tour of the underground world of unlicensed broadcasting in America. Radio Davids battle Media Goliaths and find out the real price of freedom. This film immediately connects with the audience - the hosts are friendly, have a retro sense of humor, and know their subject intimately - they have been pirate radio operators for many years. Pirate Radio USA covers almost a decade from the 1996 Broadcast Act which spawned unprecidented media consolidation into the hands of a few mega corporations. DJ Him and Her narrate their personal quest to connect with other pirate radio stations, document the micro-radio coverage of the World trade Organization protests in Seattle, and educate us on the finer points of why free radio is so important to communites. This film is far from fair & balanced - but then, corporate media and the National Association of Broadcasters have million dollar lobbyists & countless media platforms from which to shout their stories.
I have a simple formula for whether a documentary is worth my time. Does the film hold my attention? Does it stimulate learning? Pirate Radio USA achieves both, proving that you don't need a budget to present an entertaining film on topics ignored by mainstream media.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.