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Barbershop Punk

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Georgia Sugimura Archer & Kristin Armfield

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About the Movie

Robb Topolski is an unlikely crusader for free speech -- on the surface; he seems to be a mild-mannered geek with a fondness for acapella music. However, when Topolski tried to upload some rare recordings of barbershop quartets to a peer-to-peer file sharing website in 2007, he found that his broadband Internet connection slowed down to a tiny fraction of its usual speed. Topolski, who worked as a computer network engineer, ran some tests to find out what was happening and made a surprising discovery -- his internet service provider was monitoring the web use of its customers and using software to slow connections for certain activities and certain websites. Topolski took his ISP to court and has become a passionate spokesman for Net Neutrality, believing that ISP's have no right to interfere with what their customers are doing and should not be watching their activities on line. This case is one of the key inspirations behind the documentary Barbershop Punk, which explores how a small number of powerful corporations have the power to control the World Wide Web, and what ordinary people can do to promote the free exchange of information in cyberspace.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 6
  • Fresh: 4
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 5.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An engaging, provocative documentary using one man's crusade against Comcast (now merged with NBC Universal) to explore issues of Web freedom. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Nov 10, 2011

Fresh: The urgency of this complex and far-reaching issue, coupled with the undeniable appeal of the Everyman story that triggered the debate, will propel "Punk" to harmonious fest exposure and tenacious afterlife. – Eddie Cockrell, Variety, Oct 16, 2012

Fresh: Solid documentary explores how sweetly harmonized barbershop music catalyzed a battle between First Amendment proponents and the telecommunications industry. – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 7, 2011

Rotten: Dovetails with the current Occupy message but still feels rather stale. – Benjamin Mercer, Village Voice, Nov 8, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

LOVED Barbershop Punk

Barbershop Punk is incredibly insightful and entertaining! :o) 👍👍

Barbershop Punk

This movie touched my heart both musically and emotionally. It reminds us to never ever give up the fight for what we believe is right. A great documentary and enjoyable movie!

Thomas Lee, Writer. October 4, 2012.

MUST SEE Barbershop Punk

Barbershop Punk brilliantly breaks down the issue of "Net Neutrality" in terms that show why this impacts you every day -- your Privacy, your Freedom and your Access to Information.

It shows why corporations and politicians who serve their interests use words like "freedom" to mask corporate control over the technology of telecommunication AND, more importantly, the Content.

All of this is accomplished by following the story of one courageous man, who facing death from cancer, stood unafraid to expose what Comcast and other powerful companies are doing to prevent the free flow of information in today's electronic age.

Most importantly, B-Punk, unlike some documentaries, does not tell you how you should think about this issue. Instead, the filmmaker's allow people from both sides of the issue to fully explain their positions and justifications and let's YOU decide. A must see.

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Barbershop Punk
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings