Documentary “Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.” now available online and on demand

By Dawn Geske | Nov 13, 2016

CHICAGO – A documentary about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is now available for viewing by residents in Madison and St. Clair Counties as well as throughout Illinois.

CHICAGO – A documentary about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is now available for viewing by residents in Madison and St. Clair counties as well as throughout Illinois.

The full-length documentary – entitled “Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.” – is available for viewing by accessing it online at

By viewing the 60-minute documentary, viewers will get an unprecedented look at Madigan’s life and influence. He is considered to be the most powerful politician in Illinois and is the longest-serving state House speaker in U.S. history.

With the release of the documentary in October, the Illinois Policy Action has received several favorable reviews, with Kayla Weems, manager media relations for the organization telling the Record, “The educational documentary has received great reviews from movie-goers, reporters and political insiders alike. A columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times said, 'It’s a must-see for anybody involved in Illinois politics ...' Viewers have already started suggesting new topics for additional documentaries.”

Viewers around the state have come out in force to watch the documentary about Madigan, with screenings even being held at local movie theaters, Weems said.

“'Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.' has been screened to audiences in movie theaters, as well as TV stations across the state,” she said. “Now Illinoisans will be able to view the educational documentary online at and through Xfinity On Demand, where the film will be available through 2016.”

The film gives an inside look at Madigan, who has been known to avoid the media, and provides Illinoisans with a glimpse into his power with the state. Madigan has been House speaker in Illinois for more than 30 years. He came to power in 1983 and has held the office continuously except for two years during this time. With a budget crisis on his hands, growing pension problems and ever-climbing tax bills, the documentary aims to provide an inside look into how the state is run and ruled by Madigan.

Because Illinois is one of the few states that doesn’t have term limits, the documentary is meant to show the influence a government official can have without them. During the time of Madigan’s reign, the state has seen six governors come and go as well as 200 state senators and more than 500 state representatives.

The documentary also features a variety of appearances and interviews by many well-known political figures and media reporters in the state. One of the interviewees is referred to as “M” in the documentary and asked that his identity be concealed as he “feared retribution.” Illinois Policy Action said it expects retaliation for releasing the film but it felt it had to “tell the people of Illinois the truth.”

On the website, information about the documentary tells the tale of how three in-state production firms turned down the job and how many individuals feared to be interviewed for the documentary. The documentary was filmed by award-winning video production company Emergent Order from Austin, Texas, and funded by Illinois Policy Action. During the filming, Emergent Order received death threats, according to information found on the website.

Madigan declined to be interviewed for the film through a spokesperson, according to Illinois Policy Action.

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Chicago Sun-Times Illinois Policy Institute

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