IowaWatch, the nonprofit news organization that is part of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, is teaming up with the nonprofit Iowa City movie theater, Filmscene, to show a powerful new documentary film by Kimberly Reed called “Dark Money.”
The film will be shown at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. Journalist John Adams, whose reporting efforts are shown in the movie, has agreed to appear via Skype at Filmscene after the screening to talk about the multi-year effort he needed to report his stories.
The film, a PBS-POV production, follows the pursuit of hidden donations to political campaigns in Montana to enact policies the donors wanted while they tried to pit members of the state’s Republican Party against each other. A documentary that doubles as a political thriller, the film “examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials,” its production notes state. The film follows Adams, of the nonprofit Montana Free Press by the time the film ends, to expose the impacts the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has had on politics, campaigning and public policy.
“We think what John has done shows the value of investigative journalism and how difficult and time-consuming that kind of watchdog reporting can be,” IowaWatch executive director-editor Lyle Muller said.
“We’re pleased to be working with Filmscene, Iowa Public Television and PBS to bring this film to Iowa City for a large-screen showing. Although the film is set in Montana, its message is pertinent in Iowa, which, by the way, gets a small mention in the film along with much more about our neighbor, Wisconsin.”
The film has aired on Iowa Public Television, which also has shown the film in screenings in the Des Moines area and Davenport.
“Montana was not only the first and hardest hit with dark money but also the state that fought back the hardest with grassroots citizen outrage. “Dark Money” puts a human face to that fight,” producer-director Ree“Told through the lives of real people, our film makes a concerted effort to share stories from both sides of the aisle. It was important to me to remind folks that campaign spending is not just a liberal or conservative issue; and it affects all Americans, not just Montanans, regardless of ideology.”