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Barbershop Punk

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $395


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Bullfrog Films
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 77 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2011
Available in French: No

Robb Topolski is an unlikely crusader for free speech -- on the surface; he seems to be a mild-mannered geek with a fondness for a capella music. However, when Topolski tried to upload some rare recordings of barbershop quartets to a peer-to-peer file sharing website in 2007, he found that his broadband Internet connection slowed down to a tiny fraction of its usual speed.

Topolski, who worked as a computer network engineer, ran some tests to find out what was happening and made a surprising discovery -- his internet service provider was monitoring the web use of its customers and using software to slow connections for certain activities and certain websites. Topolski took his ISP to court and has become a passionate spokesman for net neutrality, believing that ISP's have no right to interfere with what their customers are doing and should not be watching their activities on line.

This case is one of the key inspirations behind the documentary BARBERSHOP PUNK, which explores how a small number of powerful corporations have the power to control the World Wide Web, and what ordinary people can do to promote the free exchange of information in cyberspace.

Featuring interviews with Ian MacKaye, Janeane Garofalo, Damian Kulash of OK Go, Henry Rollins, Mike McCurry, John Perry Barlow, Jonathan Adelstein and many more.

Grand Jury Award/Best Picture, Sacramento International Film Festival
Silver Chris Award, Columbus International Film + Video Festival
Best Feature Documentary, Big Apple Film Festival
Special Programmers Award, Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
Best Documentary, ION Film Festival
Opening Night Film, DocuTime Film Festival, Wilmington
Nominated WGA Documentary Screenplay Award, AFI/SilverDocs

Screened at:
SXSW Film Festival
AFI Fest, Los Angeles
Denver Starz Film Festival
Vermont International Film Festival
Virginia International Film Festival
Watch Docs International Film Festival, Warsaw
Portland International Film Festival
LA Film + Music Weekend
Santa Cruz Film Festival

Links: barbershoppunk.com/ - film's website