(The 24th Annual Slamdance Film Festival ran January 19-25 in Park City, UT. Hammer to Nail has you covered and guarantees more coverage than any other site. Watch us work it!)
Dwayne Booth, aka Mr. Fish, is part of a dying breed of cutting-edge, no-holds-barred editorial cartoonists. His work is brazen in style, explicit in language and image, and frequently offensive. It’s also extremely funny to those not offended. More importantly, it is protected by the First Amendment of our nation’s Bill of Rights. Thanks to Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End, the documentary debut of Pablo Bryant, we get to know the man and his cartoons in great depth.
Still, in a world where drawing pictures can lead to death threats and assassinations, as we saw when the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked, taking a principled stand for one’s art and beliefs can be dangerous. Whatever one thinks of Mr. Fish, the artist, there is no question that Dwayne Booth, the man, is possessed of no small amount of bravery (and impish delight in pissing people off), speaking truth to power, a necessary part of any healthy democracy. As Dwayne says, “Take away the right to say f*** and you take away the right to say ‘f*** the government’.” (asterisks mine, not his)