Opinions: No Safe Spaces movie review

Matthew Caballero, Opinions Writer

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Out of all the great films that came out this fall semester, one of the least talked about was No Safe Spaces, a documentary made by Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla. As someone that has never really liked watching movies in the theatre, this documentary covers a very important and relevant topic to us college students, freedom of speech on campus.

The two travel the country talking to a wide variety of individuals including professors, college students, and comedians on how the First Amendment is under attack. They reference specific events like the University of California, Berkley protest against Milo Yiannopoulos, students calling for professor Eric Weinstein’s resignation at Evergreen University, and how other countries treat citizens that voice unpopular opinions. 

While UNF has never experienced anything of this magnitude, it does not mean we should not pay attention to these stories and learn from them. 

The film uses a unique approach to get its message across with satirical cartoons and interviews from people like Tim Allen, Cornel West, Ben Shapiro, and many more from all kinds of political views and backgrounds. This adds validity to their claims and also makes an attempt to make the documentary flow more like a movie than a drawn out history lesson. 

Having a cast that has so many individuals that disagree on so many big policy and social issues, but that all can come together around protecting the First Amendment for everyone regardless of his or her beliefs allowed me to leave the theatre with hope for our political discourse.

With the amount of polarization on both sides of the aisle that we see in the mainstream media, social media and on campus, if we cannot all come to an agreement on arguably the most important freedom granted to us by the Constitution, then how can we function as a society? The documentary comes to the conclusion that we cannot and I think most rational people would agree.

The concept of freedom of expression being essential to a functioning society is something the film does a great job at portraying. They outline an uncomfortable amount of countries where you can be punished for speaking out against the government, identifying as a member of the LGBT community, or even doing something as simple as tweeting something controversial. These are things we see and hear everyday as Americans and the second we take it for granted is the second we risk an attempt by the government to compel or stifle our speech. 

In the end, I would give the film a solid 8.5/10. At times it felt a bit repetitive and lacked a movie like flow. These critiques do not take away from the amount of research and evidence the film was able to produce to back its argument, but it can be a little hard to watch for anyone that is not super passionate about politics. So, if you ever find yourself wanting to go to the movies this semester, I suggest that you pick some friends you might not align with politically and go check it out. Hopefully it can start a much needed conversation in the car like it did for me.  And maybe all of you will be able to see that while you may not agree at the ballot box, that you can believe in each others right to speak his or her mind. 

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