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Jul 6th 2007

greg whiteley’s new movie: resolved

a documentary about high school debate, some have compared it to “spellbound.” check out the trailer at

the movie received the audience choice award at last month’s LA film festival.

11 Responses to “greg whiteley’s new movie: resolved”

  1. doug

    Yikes. Reminds me how psychotic most of high school debate is.

    I remember going to “debate club” when I was a freshman in high school and being totally turned off by “policy debate.” What a ridiculous way to argue.

    When I was a senior, a friend re-introduced me to the debate club, which had switched to Classical/Lincoln-Douglas style debating. No babbling at high speed, no “evidence cards”, just brief research on various topics and then arguing about it. Kind of like…a blog! 😛

  2. Michael

    Doug, you’re lame. Policy debate is totally sweet and people who get turned off by the speed our just being closed-minded. It’s like whining about how baseball is too hard because they throw the ball so fast or basketball stinks because everyone is so tall…if you had stuck with it, you might have gotten use to the speed. And it’s not like everyone starts out going blazing face. Most early debates are slow so that people get the basics down and then it is sped up. As for Lincoln-Douglas debate, policy debaters have another name for that….Learning-Disabled Debate. Sorry had to talk a little smack. peace.

  3. doug

    Double yikes.

    If that is the type of critical thinking that policy debate teaches…I’m glad I opted out! 😉

  4. Luke

    The only problem with Whitely’s film, of course, is that he completely ripped off two other filmmakers, James Crotty and Justin Oberman, debate coaches who were also making a feature-length documentary about high school policy debate. Whitely actually had the audacity to steal the name “Resolved” and many of the creative ideas the Oberman shared with him in the spirit of goodwill. That’s the talk anyway. Karl Rove was a policy debater. Maybe Whitely picked up some Machiavellian tricks from him. Pretty audacious really when you consider this: I don’t where this film is at in its cycle, though word is Crotty is still working on it.

  5. travis

    The only problem with Whitely’s film, of course, is that he completely ripped off two other filmmakers….That’s the talk anyway.

    that’s a pretty serious charge. maybe you could be more specific about “the talk.” from visiting the website you linked, i see how the two films seem very similar, but that’s all.

    Karl Rove was a policy debater. Maybe Whitely picked up some Machiavellian tricks from him.

    yeah, and whiteley probably has ties to halliburton and bushitler!

  6. Joe Schmo

    First of all, policy debate pwns all.
    Second of all, LD should be called Ladies-Debate
    Third of all, where can I get a copy of the full documentary???

  7. Bailey

    Well unlike the other comments on here… I have never been on a debate team but I sure do love to do it with my friends and family. I have never even heard of this movie before but I just happened to catch it on TV. I was blown away by the film. The spread is BS. It is not used in real life and excludes a HUGE portion of the population from participating in real change. I would love to get a hold of Richard and Louis and praise them. The idea of racism in debate is amazing… congrats to a great movie!

  8. Shine

    Our professor had us watch this documentary because of it’s ties with Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Friere–one of our required readings. The documentary is an eye opener. I never knew debate became so ridiculously mechanistic and devoid of passion and thought.

    Like many other academically based competitions, this shows such a pathetic aggressive side of white upper middle class America. Whether people agree with the spread method or not, I personally believe that the purpose of a debate is lost in this context. If I wanted regurgitation of facts, I would just get a talking encyclopedia or do the research myself–it’s not very hard.

    In this case, regardless of whoever is right or wrong, you spin it and regurgitate it the way they want it, you win. While I do not completely agree with how Long Beach argued their way using the flawed debate process, I thought it was amusing and very ballsy to attack the process at the core. For that, they deserve some credit.

  9. M.

    High school policy debate is a game. Ask those mechanistic robots who practice “the spread”– they’ll likely be the first to agree that a debate round is not the only or the best form of argument. No good debater thinks that questions are best, most thoroughly or finest answered in an hour of policy debate. They keep debating, though, because they enjoy competitive argumentation. And the amount of reading and (normal-paced) discussion that happens in preparation for and during debate tournaments shouldn’t be underestimated. The most involved or engaging discussions I’ve had have been with members of the debate community.

    Let the silly kids play their silly game.

  10. Gabz

    I did debate for a while and I LOVED IT. At forst i did prefer the concept of L-D debates but after successfully surviving policy debates, I realized policy is BEST.

  11. I loved high school LD, hated the concept of policy