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The Independent Critic

Matthew C. Campbell (Narrator), Carlos Alvarez, Richard Aviles
Charles Gage
Ian J. McIntosh
89 Mins.
Garden Thieves Pictures
Deleted scenes and the features "Still Inspired" and "Inspired in Mexico City".

 "Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8" an Inspiring Doc 
I expect hatred in Indiana.

Yeah, I know that sounds cold. But, it's the truth. This longtime red state that somehow, rather miraculously, voted for Barack Obama in 2008 before returning to its roots in 2012. In 2012, Indiana finds itself with the almost unfathomable reality of a Republican supermajority including new Governor Mike Pence.

The result? The LGBT community is just waiting for the likely reality that a gay marriage ban, which already exists in the Hoosier State, will be further cemented by the Indiana legislature during this time when the Republican party can do virtually anything they want in the state of Indiana.

Again. I expect this in Indiana.

But California?

The land of Hollywood?

One of the truly recognized liberal bastions of the U.S.A.?

I remember hearing about Proposition 8, legislation passed by California voters on November 4, 2008 that revoked the right to marriage for LGBT couples by a 52% - 48% margin.

I was amazed.

I was dismayed.

I saddened.

I was angry.

I suppose this means that I support gay marriage or, minimally, I don't believe that love falls within the rights of a government to legislate. I don't believe that a government has the right to tell me who I can or cannot marry.

Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8 is an inspiring documentary. It's a documentary that will make you angry and make you sad and make you want to jump up on your couch and scream out. If you supported Prop 8, it will likely infuriate you but, in all likelihood, if you supported Prop 8 you've already turned away from this review.

Directed by Charles Gage, Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8 is really the story of what began the day after Prop 8 passed and a seemingly infuriated LGBT community was enfolded into the hearts of communities across California and loud, angry protests began popping up with a fury that hadn't been seen in California in quite some time. Using interviews, archival footage and news footage, Gage captures the soul of a growing movement that gave birth to unexpected activists and unlikely partnerships. He also captures the fury of these protests and, as well, the heart of the people involved. Perhaps most impressively, he presents the true diversity of the LGBT community and not just those who fit neatly within the usual stereotypes. These men and women are young and old, black and white and hispanic, conservative and liberal, queens and chemists, introverts and extroverts and so much more.

The film also does a terrific job of building up to the California Supreme Court's decision to take on the legality of Proposition 8 but, in the end, the real power of this film lies in the richness of its humanity.

It is nearly impossible to watch Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8 without having some sort of strong reaction, and if you've ever had this feeling of "I can't really do anything to help," then this film will be a swift kick in the ass to let you know that there's a whole heck of a lot that you can do.

A good documentary makes you think and makes you feel and makes you turn inward to examine yourself. Such is the case with Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8, which has been picked up for a home video release by Garden Thieves Pictures on December 4th, 2012. For more information, check out the film's website and the Garden Thieves website listed in the credits.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic