Cornell University

BAD PRESS - Film Screening

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 at 7:00pm

Cornell Cinema, Willard Straight Theatre 104 Willard Straight Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853

Imagine you lived in a world where your only reliable news source became government propaganda overnight. That’s exactly what happened in 2018 to the citizens of the Muscogee Nation, the fourth largest Native American tribe. Out of 574 federally-recognized tribes, the Muscogee Nation was one of only five to establish a free and independent press — until the tribe’s legislative branch abruptly repealed the landmark Free Press Act in advance of an election. The tribe’s hard-hitting news outlet, Mvskoke Media, would now be subject to direct editorial oversight by the tribal government.

In the searing new documentary BAD PRESS, winner of a special jury prize for “Freedom of Expression” Sundance 2022, one defiant journalist refuses to accept this flagrant act of oppression. As brave as she is blunt, veracious muckraker Angel Ellis charges headfirst into battle against the corrupt faction of the Muscogee National Council. Angel and her allies rally for press freedoms by inciting a voter-supported constitutional amendment, just in time for the start of a new election cycle.

An enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter that unfurls with the energy and suspense of a political thriller, BAD PRESS is a timely and unprecedented story about the battle for freedom of the press and against state-censored media.

Journalist Angel Ellis and co-director Joe Peeler will join for a post-screening Q&A with Austin Bunn, Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts and Director of the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity.

Free admission! Sponsored by the Rural Humanities Initiative at the Society for the Humanities and the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program

This film is presented as part of Cornell University’s Freedom of Expression Theme Year.

As part of his visit to Cornell campus, Co-director Joe Peeler will lead an editing workshop with the students enrolled in the Rural Humanities Seminar SHUM 4800/6800: Documenting Local Lives: Filmmaking as Research. You can read more about the Rural Humanities Seminar here:

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The Society for the Humanities, Society for the Humanities, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program


cascal, cashum, cosochum, RURALHUM, freedom-of-expression-theme-year




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Disability Access Information

Cornell Cinema has wheelchair and companion seating inside its theatre, and a lift to move from the outer to the inner lobby. Mobility-impaired patrons are encouraged to use this lift, as there are a number of stairs down to the inner lobby and the theatre entrance. The inner lobby also includes an accessible, gender-neutral washroom. Cornell Cinema also has assistive listening headsets and closed caption readers available for checkout at the Box Office. Not all titles include descriptive audio or closed captions, but those that do will have this information noted on the individual film’s page within a week of its showdate. To check out one of these devices, please leave an ID with the Box Office.

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free & open to the public; guests are encouraged to reserve a free ticket

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