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PBS reportedly got cold feet about broadcasting this film. Kansas-born billionaires Charles and David Koch have a long political reach (and no arts or humanities outfit — including public broadcasting — is eager to lessen David Koch's contributions), and they'd probably prefer that few people see this overview of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. Since that case, people like the Kochs have been able to make political contributions without leaving their fingerprints, helping some pretty heinous agendas get through state legislatures and Congress. Citizen Koch doesn't spend much time on the Kochs themselves but instead follows one of their candidates, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and demonstrates how his election and his policies are directly beholden to them. The real star of the film is former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who couldn't get a seat at the Republican TV debates in 2011 and 2012, in part because of his refusal to take money from the Koch-backed Citizens for Prosperity. Co-director Carl Deal takes part in a Q&A via Skype after the 5:30 p.m. screening Friday, October 4.
In the Lansing Correctional Facility, former opera singer Kirk Carson conducts the East Hills Singers — a choir whose members might, through music, stand a better chance of staying out of prison after release. (Veterans of the choir have only a 15 percent recidivism rate.) Conducting Hope is a fairly straightforward film, but it's also straightforwardly inspiring. The 3 p.m. Saturday, October 5, screening features producer Margie Friedman and a live performance by the East Hills Singers.