It's not often a movie comes around that gives viewers a positive look at the Constitution -- but now may be the perfect time of all.
"In Search of Liberty" is not a typical movie. The film, available now on home video, takes a look at an average suburban American family. When the family's two children come home from school one day and talk about how their teachers questioned the value of the United States Constitution in modern-day society -- their parents have a problem with that.
Out of seemingly nowhere comes a man from a different time to take the family on a "Christmas Carol"-like journey -- to help them realize the importance of everything written in America's most valuable and beloved document.
In an exclusive interview, LifeZette spoke with director Norm Novitsky, who works out of Tampa Bay, Florida, about his unique new film -- a mix of comedy and educational lessons the whole family can enjoy.
Question: Explain your motivation to tell this story and how it came together.
Answer: There were several factors that motivated me to do a movie on the U.S. Constitution, but the two I am mentioning here were at the top of the list.
I was very tired and frustrated -- to the point of anger -- [at] listening to and hearing people eviscerate our Constitution, especially from many who represent us and who have taken the oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," yet would ignore or violate its tenets.
The other motivational factor was when I became aware that this very important document as a curriculum [topic] in our educational system was either being watered down as a subject or neglected entirely. My thought was: What a covert or even overt way to get rid of the Constitution that our Founding Fathers created -- no longer educate the schooling generation on the U.S. Constitution!
So these were the key motivations to produce "In Search of Liberty."
The next challenge was to make a movie about the Constitution that would be fun, exciting and adventurous while educating people on the subject. I found an excellent writer in Hollywood, of all places, for writing a script on the Constitution, gave him my story concept -- and he delivered a brilliant script.
Q: Would you like to see Hollywood make more projects like this -- stories that educate people about American institutions and government?
A: Yes, I most certainly would. And I believe this film's success could potentially spur others to produce more educational films about American institutions and government. The players in Hollywood, for the most part, dictate what movies they want to create based on what they think will have the best theatrical and DVD sales. Hollywood, in large part but not in all cases, is driven by ticket sales, not relevant subject matter that can enhance and improve societal existence.
This film's success could potentially spur others to produce more educational films about American institutions and government.
Q: What's the ultimate effect you would like to see this movie have? And who do you think should be exposed to it?
A: I'd like it [to help] people rediscover the U.S. Constitution and to bring it back into the minds and hearts of all Americans. "Enlighten people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day" -- that's what Thomas Jefferson said.
I think all Americans should be exposed to this movie. But the reality is there are forces in play here that have other intentions for America. We did a random survey of no particular political group, to find out what public would be interested in a movie on the U.S. Constitution. Of those surveyed, 88 percent were made up of independents, libertarians and conservatives and they said they would be interested in a movie on the Constitution. Although I would like to expose the movie to all Americans, it is those target groups to whom we will be reaching out to in the hope they find "In Search of Liberty" something they would enjoy.
Q: Anything else you'd like to tell readers about the film or about future work?
A: This is a movie unlike any movie on the subject of the U.S. Constitution that you have seen before.
While it is an educational movie, it is done in a storytelling way that is fun, adventurous, humorous and magical. We have a saying for this movie: "Learn the Constitution visually."
As for the future, we intend to continue to do entertaining movies that are educational, relevant and enlightening on American institutions and government.