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The Words That Built America
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Directed by: Alexandra Pelosi
Distributor: HBO Documentaries
Running Time: 90 minutes
Original Broadcast: July 04, 2017

The United States were born on July 4, 1776 when the Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence declaring the 13 American colonies a new nation: The United States of America. Now, on its 241st birthday, HBO and documentarian Alexandra Pelosi are celebrating the occasion with The Words That Built America, a film that features all six living presidents, six vice presidents, as well as senators, congresspeople, governors, and celebrities in an unabridged reading of the authentic words from the documents that created our democracy: The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Participants
George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Kevin Bacon, Jack Black, Tucker Carlson, Common, Anderson Cooper, Bryan Cranston, Robert De Niro, Laura Dern, Robert Duvall, America Ferrera, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hannity, Neil Patrick Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Caitlyn Jenner, Dwayne Johnson, Toby Keith, Megyn Kelly, Kid Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Yo-Yo Ma, Peggy Noonan, Rosie O’Donnell, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Vince Vaughn, Kerry Washington, Fareed Zakaria
Production Notes
The Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the words that built this country. Written by America’s founding fathers, they provide a blueprint for our democracy. Celebrating Independence Day, and narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough (John Adams), The Words That Built America is an unabridged reading of the authentic words of our founding fathers. Director-producer Alexandra Pelosi brings together more than 100 readers, including all the living presidents and vice presidents, as well as Supreme Court justices, Cabinet secretaries and the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, along with a wide array of celebrities, leading media figures and young people to read these iconic documents. The film will be donated to the National Constitution Center for use in its ongoing educational programming.

Readers include a range of Americans from across the political spectrum. The Declaration of Independence is read by actors and media figures. The U.S. Constitution is read by presidents and vice presidents, Supreme Court justices, U.S. senators, governors and other American political figures. The Bill of Rights is read by middle-school students from the United Nations International School. The Words That Built America marks director Alexandra Pelosi’s 11th collaboration with HBO, following such documentaries as Meet the Donors: Does Money Talk?, Diary of a Political Tourist, Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip and the Emmy-winning Journeys with George.