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‘The People vs. Larry Flynt’ Saga, Continued : Two Other Views

Screenwriter Naomi Foner's movies include "Running on Empty," "Losing Isaiah" and the upcoming "I Was Amelia Earhart."

I consider myself a feminist and a progressive. Neither of these positions is well thought of these days or easy to maintain, but my right to them is secured by the 1st Amendment. We can agree to disagree, but if we limit the right to free speech, we are all in danger. That is why I am so surprised by the position taken by my sisters, who are so vehement in their attack of “The People vs. Larry Flynt.”

Every Hollywood movie sanitizes its characters, if only by casting beautiful movie stars to play them. “Flynt” might have been more powerful if an unattractive actor had played Flynt. But, to its credit, the movie did expose the inevitable results of multiple sex partners and drug abuse. Nowhere in my opinion, did the film glamorize Flynt or his wife, Althea.

Director Milos Forman has done a brave movie. He was moved to make it, I have read, because he knows what it is like to live without these 1st Amendment protections. He knows how important they are to preserve.


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