Skip to main content

Slay the Dragon follows citizens' groups as they fight back against the practice of gerrymandering, the term for the controversial redrawing of electoral maps in a way that ensures single parties maintain control of local governments.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

  • Slay the Dragon
  • Directed by Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman
  • Classification PG; 101 minutes

rating

3 out of 4 stars

A fascinating, frequently angry and occasionally darkly funny documentary about the history-altering effects of ... gerrymandering? Yes, the least sexy word in politics is the focus of Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman’s important (if not exactly essential) new film Slay the Dragon, which takes the bone-dry concept of cutting up a U.S. state map to represent voter districts and uses it to explore flagrant abuses within the American political system.

The sleazy electoral tactic, used by Democrats and Republicans alike over the course of U.S. history but now firmly a weapon of the American right, is one that might be slightly too obtuse for most audiences to get a grip on, but Durrance and Goodman neatly, if sometimes slowly, lay the issue out with the skill of seasoned documentarians and the ferocity of citizens who realize they’ve been duped. Yet despite the obvious righteousness of the filmmakers’ cause, a good portion of Slay the Dragon feels listless, and this close to wading into the flabbier territory of a 60 Minutes segment in need of serious editing.

There may be larger things in the world right now to think about – and even uttering the word “gerrymandering” sends a cold shiver of pure blah down my spine – but as Slay the Dragon mostly proves, the system will never right itself until the electorate collectively push for action. Today, and tomorrow.

Story continues below advertisement

Slay the Dragon is available April 3 on demand

Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter, with film, TV and streaming reviews and more. Sign up today.

Follow related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies