Floyd Abrams: Speaking Freely – Director Yael Melamede

FLOYD ABRAMS: SPEAKING FREELY explores America’s dedication to the foundational principles of free speech and free press through the groundbreaking work of attorney Floyd Abrams. A biopic of the First Amendment told through Abrams’ important cases, we reveal how this legal giant helped transform the First Amendment from an oft-ignored principle into a bulwark of American democracy. Floyd Abrams: Speaking Freely follows the 50-year career of preeminent First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams. See how his landmark cases—from the Pentagon Papers to Citizens United to Clearview AI—helped define free speech as it is known today. Join Dan Abrams, Ari Melber,  Nina Totenberg and more as they explore how Abrams’ career has shaped major changes in law, public discourse and civic action since the 1960s. Political discourse in the United States is shaped by audacious ideas of what a society should be. But who are the influencers and disrupters of American political thought that have paved the way for the systems that we currently have—and those still to come? Director Yael Melamede joins us for a conversation on the many reasons why Floyd Abramis rightfully regarded as one of the most consequential advocates for this battered Anerican civil right. as well as how we came to this moment where free speech issues have never felt more complicated and urgent, and where the nation is wondering anew: what price are we willing to pay for free speech?


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For more about the film go to: speakingfreelyfilm.com

For more go to: pbs.org/americanmasters

About the filmmaker – Yael Melamede (Director) – Yael Melamede is the co-founder of SALTY Features, an independent production company based in New York City whose goal is to create media that is thought-provoking, vital, and enhances the world. Melamede’s documentary credits include PAY OR DIE (2023), 1341 FRAMES OF LOVE AND WAR (2022), the Jigsaw Productions/Amblin Entertainment six-part series WHY WE HATE (2019), WHEN I WALK (News & Documentary Emmy Award Winner, 2015), DESERT RUNNERS (2015), INOCENTE (Academy Award Winner, Best Doc Short, 2013), and MY ARCHITECT (Academy Award Nominee, 2004). Her directorial debut was (DIS)HONESTY—THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES (2015). Yael was an architect before becoming a filmmaker and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.For more go to: saltyfeatures.com



“Few people have done as much to shape the first amendment as it exists today.” – Jameel Jaffer

“If there were the history of defense of the first amendment in modern times, there probably wouldn’t be a chapter about Floyd Abrams, it would be part one.” – Nina Totenberg