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Substack Goes Hollywood with ‘Coddling’ Documentary

Free speech platform to debut anti-DEI feature exclusively on Feb. 22

Hollywood is far from the only game in town for filmmakers today. streams right-leaning documentaries like “America, Invaded.” The Daily Wire produces and streams films including “Shut In,” “Terror on the Prairie” and “What Is a Woman?

Blaze TV, Rumble and Epoch TV distribute original films outside the Hollywood ecosystem.

Now, it’s Substack’s turn.

The platform designed for independent journalists will debut “The Coddling of the American Mind” Feb. 22. Writer/director Ted Balaker’s film is based on the “Coddling” book by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.

Jonathan Haidt The Coddling of the American Mind

The nonfiction tome explores why universities have turned on the First Amendment, leaving young Americans unprepared for the real world.

First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people.

Balaker, who previously directed “Can We Take a Joke?” shared more about the project, where else, on his Shiny Herd Substack platform.

You’ll find the same ideas and concepts—such as the Gen Z mental health crisis, antifragility, free play, free expression, and the dangers of the “oppressor-victim” worldview [in the movie]….

Fundamentally, the movie is a story about happiness—how we can lose it, and, if we manage to grasp it again, how much more precious it feels the second time….

We spoke with a global group of 20-somethings that is living the ideas of The Coddling book, and most of the movie is told through their eyes. If you’re down on Gen Z, wait till you meet our subjects. They’re introspective, thoughtful, and willing to stand against the crowd. Adults taught them to be miserable, but they refused to accept that fate.

The new film comes under the “Substack Presents” banner, suggesting more film projects are on the way.

Substack Offers Alternative to the Mainstream Media

Substack bowed in 2017, offering journalists a fresh way to reach the public without mainstream media constraints. The service quickly gained a foothold in American culture, elevating journalists like Bari Weiss, Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald.

The mainstream press fought back, accusing Substack of sharing “misinformation” while ignoring how readily august platforms like The Washington Post routinely do the same sans apology.

Balaker previously produced “Little Pink House,” the true story behind Susette Kilo’s battle to keep her house when a pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, sought to grab the land under eminent domain.

Little Pink House Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie

Substack will be the streaming home for “Coddling,” but the film’s reach will extend beyond the platform in one key fashion.

The documentary will be screened at various colleges in the weeks to come, allowing the film’s core demographic to weigh in on the film.

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