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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Dixie Chicks backlash film debuts
Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks admit audiences for their gigs have halved
A film about the backlash country music group the Dixie Chicks received for criticising US President George W Bush has been launched in Toronto.

The documentary, Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, shows the public reaction after singer Natalie Maines said she was "ashamed" Bush came from Texas.

Radio stations refused to play the band's songs, while their albums were destroyed in the street.

"People don't like mouthy women in country," said the act's Emily Robison.

Country and Western

The documentary follows the group from the London gig in 2003 in which Maines made her comment to the release of their latest album, after which they began to tour again.

Anti-war protesters wave banners supporting the Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks were cheered by some protesters in Toronto
It is directed by Cecilia Peck and Barbara Kopple - who has won two Oscars for best documentary feature.

"When Natalie made her comments particularly from the country music box, there was no community, they were out there all on their own," said Kopple.

"Our hope with this film, is that people will see it and no longer will the Chicks stand alone."

Toronto also saw the world premiere of Western movie Seraphim Falls.

The film, set in the Wild West of 1860s America, stars Irish actors Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan in an epic about revenge and forgiveness shortly after the US Civil War.

'Childhood dream'

Neeson plays a former Confederate colonel on the trail of Brosnan, a former Union army captain, chasing him from the Rocky Mountains to the desert to enact revenge for an atrocity.

David Von Ancken
Seraphim Falls is Von Ancken's debut as a film director
"It was like realising a childhood dream," said Neeson.

"I mean that genuinely. I was steeped in the western genre as a kid."

However, the film's director, David Von Ancken, said that he felt fewer Westerns than ever are being made - making Seraphim Falls a rare exception.

"I think there is a reservoir of people interested in the genre who just don't get to feed in that trough very often," he said.

"But there is a big risk in making them, particularly if it's an expensive production, because most of the action is filmed outdoors and you risk being washed out by the elements.

"Most studios will not take that inherent risk."


SEE ALSO
Oscar hopefuls descend on Toronto
07 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Dixie Chicks cancel US tour dates
08 Aug 06 |  Entertainment

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