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Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution (2017)

At the crossroads of the 2016 presidential race and the fight for civil rights, economic fairness, and a democracy that works for everyone.


Jon D. Erickson, Jacob Z. Smith (as Jacob Smith)


Jon D. Erickson, Jacob Z. Smith (as Jacob Smith)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kai Newkirk Kai Newkirk ... Himself
Bernie Sanders ... Himself
Sabrina Shrader Sabrina Shrader ... Herself
Elise Whitaker Elise Whitaker ... Herself
Jan Williams Jan Williams ... Herself
Melina Abdullah Melina Abdullah ... Herself
Medea Benjamin Medea Benjamin ... Herself
Becky Bond Becky Bond ... Herself
Jamelle Bouie Jamelle Bouie ... Himself
Clayola Brown Clayola Brown ... Herself
Zack Exley Zack Exley ... Himself
Amy Goodman ... Herself
Bob Herbert Bob Herbert ... Himself
Lisa Hines Lisa Hines ... Herself
Taj James Taj James ... Himself


"Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution" is the story of the attempt to build a 21st century progressive movement in the United States. Five remarkable individuals wrestle with persistent racial injustice, growing economic inequality, and the corrupting influence of money in politics against the backdrop of an extraordinary 2016 presidential race. From the presidential campaign trail with Senator Bernie Sanders to a local race in the failing economy of rural West Virginia, from a mass sit-in on the U.S. Capitol steps to racially charged police commission hearings in Los Angeles, Waking the Sleeping Giant makes sense of this moment in American politics, probing widespread discontent during the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump's dramatic electoral victory, and the challenges ahead for those building a re-energized progressive movement.

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Release Date:

April 2017 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$175,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?


Written by Kathryn Bostic
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User Reviews

And Where We Go From Here...
19 August 2019 | by JustMyLuckSee all my reviews

Waking The Sleeping Giant shows the run-up to the 2016 election - showing all the players and how they fared, especially Bernie Sanders. But it does more than that, it shows us a deep root of people willing to start a movement - creating a wave that will hopefully crest in 2020.

The filmmakers take their time to weave together incredible stories of hope, strife and pain to show that a movement must start at a grass roots level. I guarantee that after watching this film anyone sitting on the 'my vote doesn't count' fence will soon realize that ever vote counts.

A wonderful film that left me inspired.

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