Local filmmaker addressing ‘civics illiteracy’ by making documentary about the Constitution

Local filmmaker addressing ‘civics illiteracy’ by making documentary about the Constitution
David Garrigus is a producer, writer and director of documentary and educational programs like Kitty Hawk: The Wright Brothers Journey of Invention. (Castleberry, Tony)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - David Garrigus is trying to counteract what he calls “civics illiteracy” by making a movie about one of the most important documents in American history.

"Less than a third of Americans can name the three branches of government. This should be considered a national security issue," said Garrigus, who was on WECT's News Now Wednesday afternoon to discuss his documentary, The American Constitution. "This level of civics illiteracy is an existential threat to our nation and was one of the founders' greatest fears when they designed the U.S. system of government."

The American Constitution, which is in production and set for a 2020 release, aims to bring the document to life with portrayals of the founders speaking their own words.

Garrigus said the documentary will not address the current political climate, but rather will focus on telling the story of how George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and other founders created this new form of government.

"There's been hundreds of books written about this. We're making a film about it now," Garrigus said. "It's not the Republicans' Constitution. It's not the Democrats' Constitution. It's everyone's Constitution."

After what he hopes will be a theatrical release in early 2020, Garrigus said he would like The American Constitution to be on television by the end of that year.

There are 51 speaking roles in the documentary, which Garrigus said is one of the reasons it's taking a while to film.

For more information on The American Constitution, click here.

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