Sovereign Denizen is a 2007 documentary film by Link Starbureiy. The film stars Rich Angell and loosely follows his teachings and experiences as they relate to his public television program Sovereign Solutions.
An intimate portrait detailing the thoughts, handles, and travels of Rich Angell before he embarks on Freestatesmanhood. Rich Angell is unique among many, in that he has discovered what he believes is the true nature of contemporary society - fraud, and that the only way to beat the system is to systematically avoid it. Some of his common practices - including the use of questionable alternative currencies, permit structures, husbandry, and so forth - have given him a chance to test his theories in the real world. It's an everyday battle with both himself and his controlling government for the ultimate power - sovereignty.
Originally filmed in portions of 2006 and 2007 throughout Missoula, Montana, Link Starbureiy was able to capture actual, first-hand accounts of the fascinating figure that is the so-called Freestatesman. The footage is real and unscripted. The story is ongoing. And the subject has something to teach all of us.
In the quiet town of Missoula there are competing lifestyles of liberalism. Perhaps none of those quite match that of the individual who seeks to compromise their own security for the sake of independence.
As a citizenry, we have been taught from an early age that the all-American way of life should be steady and predictable. We are made to believe that our Government always has our best interests at heart, and that We The People are ultimately in control of our own destinies. But believing in such an ideology requires that we not question our leaders or their motives. For the system to work, its subjects must be totally compliant, or else. However, change is inevitable, and to act on emotion is a natural expression of courage.
Our star, Rich Angell, is just the person to challenge the status quo for the sake of his own happiness. He firmly believes that we may all benefit in the long-run if we just take a stand today for what we truly value - freedom. As the saying goes, 'We are in the system because we are not free.'. Angell is a prototypical agent of disruption; he is someone who is willing to 'walk the talk'.
Documented is real footage of the everyday life of a so-called 'Freestater': a person who has renounced a majority of their constitutional rights to explore what it means to live supra-legally. We watch through the lens of Link Starbureiy's camera as our Freestater comes to grips with a well-established system that does not reward radical thinking in the context of socialism.
Development, production and promotion
- Angell and Starbureiy were fellow program producers at Missoula Community Access Television from 2005-07.
- The film is the first documentary by filmmaker Link Starbureiy, who said he became interested in documenting Angell's livelihood because of what he perceived to be a real misunderstanding and gross misinterpretation of American history. Angell initially moved to Montana for the state's stance on strong Constitutional adherence, but later became disillusioned with the pro-war issues promoted by the Bush Administration.
- The film contains real-life drama, some of which was edited from the final film product.
Release and reception
The original version - titled The Sovereign Denizen: The Life and Times of Rich Angell - was first screened at the MCAT studio during the Summer of 2007, just prior to Angell's departure for New Hampshire. It received favorable reviews from both the Missoulian and the Missoula Independent. Upon its update and re-release in 2012, it was made publicly available under a Creative Commons license on both YouTube and the Internet Archive, as well as an having an additional narrowcast screening on MCAT.
+ The film was re-released (and re-titled) as a deluxe version in 2012. This version is the finalized product.