<i>Variety</i> screens Dixie Chicks pic

WHAT: Variety Screening Series unspooling of “Shut Up & Sing” Oct. 30 at Hollywood’s ArcLight

WHO: Helmers-producers Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck

BANNED: The directors commented on recent news that NBC refuses to air the film’s ads. “Looking back with the perspective of a few years, all (lead singer) Natalie (Maines) was doing was questioning why we were rushing into this war, and she was right,” said Peck. Kopple added, “It just seems so bizarre to me that a film that deals with censorship and free speech gets censored on NBC.”

A LESSON: Peck said her father, Gregory Peck, would’ve been proud of this film because it’s made in the spirit of his anti-Vietnam war pic, “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine.” Her brother fought as a Marine on the frontlines in Vietnam, but that didn’t affect the father-son relationship. “My dad was extremely proud of my brother and of his courage,” she said. “So I learned when I was young that you can oppose a policy in a war, but that doesn’t mean you’re not wholeheartedly supportive of the troops.”

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