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What's the Matter with Kansas? (2009) HD online

What's the Matter with Kansas? (2009) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Documentary
Original Title: Whatu0027s the Matter with Kansas?
Director: Joe Winston
Writers: Thomas Frank
Released: 2009
Budget: $250,000
Duration: 1h 30min
Video type: Movie
In 'What's the Matter with Kansas?' a politically active Kansas megachurch splinters, moves to an amusement park, and when that fails, a Best Western motel. Meanwhile, an idealistic farmer revives Kansas' progressive tradition, taking his message all the way to Washington, D.C.


Credited cast:
Alyssa Barden Alyssa Barden - Herself
Brittany Barden Brittany Barden - Herself - Volunteer, Phill Kline Campaign
Dawn Barden Dawn Barden - Herself
Matthew Barden Matthew Barden - Himself
Nicholas Barden Nicholas Barden - Himself
Rob Barden Rob Barden - Himself - Volunteer, Phill Kline Campaign
Tiffany Barden Tiffany Barden - Herself
Brad Bennett Brad Bennett - Himself - Pro-Life Activist
Cindie Bennett Cindie Bennett - Herself - Pro-Life Activist
Julie Burkhart Julie Burkhart - Herself - ProKanDo, Kansas Pro-Choice Advocacy Group
Angel Dillard Angel Dillard - Herself - Pro-Life Activist
Katy Dillard Katy Dillard - Herself - Angel & Rob's Daughter
Reagan Dillard Reagan Dillard - Herself - Angel & Rob's Daughter
Rob Dillard Rob Dillard - Himself - Emergency Room Physician
Thomas Etheredge Thomas Etheredge - Himself - Owner, WIld West World

Reviews: [6]

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    When this film finds national distribution, which it thoroughly deserves, it's a must-see for every politically minded American, left, right, or center. As a true documentary - not the editorials we've come to call documentaries these days - it gives viewers a glimpse into some of what makes Kansas voters align with a political position that seems rather perpendicular to their own interests. The characters range from endearing to maddening, and every one expresses an honesty that's neither promoted nor berated. The film itself doesn't offer an opinion so much as it opens a window into new ways of understanding other points of view.
  • avatar


    In jazz, when a talented and professional outfit goes "free time" the result can be beautiful; when amateurs try they usually produce simple noise. This is noise. Without narration this film has no context. It doesn't even address the title's question, let alone answer it. And the DVD's extras include a Q&A with the filmmakers, which confirms their condescension toward their subject.

    To be useful, they could have asked the subjects about politics: why they vote the way they do, and why they feel theocrats represent their interests. They could have chased the money behind theocratic politicians and unveiled the lies they tell to get elected, only to serve the interests of the wealthiest 2% of individuals and the rapacious corporations that run this nation. Instead, we get a camera following some very nice but misguided people around their town.

    The featured characters are interesting, but the film is not. Nor is it informative or insightful in any way.
  • avatar


    WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS ? clearly demonstrates how only voting, 'For' ,or 'Against', "Cultural Issues" (Abortion, Gay Rights, Gun Control, Immigration, etc), is a waste of a vote. Although voters are led to believe otherwise, in state elections these subjects are usually not even on the ballot, and by voting for candidates solely on the basis of their positions on these issues is ridiculous. However, it does allow that the social and economic issues which ARE of value to the electorate are then, NEVER addressed. Only in modern day America would a voter with No job security, No benefits, and No health insurance determine who gets his vote by wondering how the candidate stands on The Right To Life or The Death Tax. This film proves how Kansas got fooled, and I hope it's a Head's Up for the rest of America. And, I think that the film goes the extra mile to portray these religiously motivated(deluded?)individuals in the most favorable light. After the credits rolled, I only felt pity for these people.
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    I liked this because it provided a rare and relatively unbiased glimpse at the thoughts and opinions of the ultra religious right, who most in the world (including most Americans) simply just write off as "crazy." It was interesting, to me, to be able to listen to them move past the typical talking points that the talking heads of the right harp on extensively, and actually provide a window on where they were coming from. In the end, you feel kind of sad for a number of the people, not because of their values, but because of what happened to them in the end.

    Overall though, this film lacks focus. The author of the namesake book appears a couple of times, but there's real clear connection for why he appears. The farmers union guy provides a minimal counter-balance, and the abortion clinic employee only vaguely fits with the premise (at least, what I interpreted as the premise). The film follows people, but it's not really about the people. It's about... I guess I don't really know. It may be that it's just trying to be too much.
  • avatar


    Itching for a fight, I watched this in anticipation of a strongly biased anti-Conservative agenda documentary. I was pleasantly surprised this was not to be.

    'What's the Matter with Kansas' follows regular and not so regular people from Kansas living their everyday lives and voicing their political opinions. Not having read the book but having read the reviews on it, I expected some bashing of Kansans and their moral values but didn't really find that in this documentary. To be fair, I did not find any political or moral biased here making it much easier to watch. I good documentary if somewhat now outdated due to the politics being discussed.

    To answer the question of the title 'What's the Matter with Kansas' since it wasn't really answered, based on my viewing not a damn thing.
  • avatar


    This imperfect documentary most of the time seems like a mockumentary. Ultra religious folks, home-schooled teenagers, loopy pastors, eccentric farmers and so on... Some viewers seem upset that the filmmakers didn't provide some answers to whatever happened to Kansas. I think they did. The lethal and usually explosive mixture of nationalism and fundamentalism. Some of these unfortunate evangelical Christians are so petrified of everything even remotely unfamiliar, that deceiving them becomes a piece of cake. For me, an idea that you should hold your church services in a theme park is as idiotic as it is blasphemous, but apparently not to these fine people. But then if your religion is about happy-clappy nonsense without any intelligent thought, you can actually be swindled by a fake Christian even if you happen to be a emergency room doctor. And on a somber note, few days ago a fundamentalist white supremacist on a rampage against Jews kills by mistake 2 Methodists and 1 Catholic. Frightened people are the most dangerous species on this planet. God help us.