04/05/2013 10:05 am ET

Roger Ebert To Congress: Movies Are Not The Cause Of Violence In America

Roger Ebert's big personality and impassioned stances on film never waned throughout his decades-long career, including the time he and fellow movie critic Gene Siskel took Congress to task

The C-SPAN clip shows the famous duo discussing the never-ending topic of violence in movies on June 8, 1995. Their remarks came in the wake of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who opposed President Bill Clinton in the 1996 election, lashing out against Quentin Tarantino's "Natural Born Killers" and other movies that depict substantial elements of violence.

"To say that a movie or a song contains something is not to make a meaningful statement about it, except simply to say that is a factual statement, that this is what it contains," Ebert said. "I think you have to look a little further into tone, mood, message, purpose, context and origin in order to understand whether a movie or song has a message that's worthwhile or whether it's simply negative and destructive. And that's something I think Sen. Dole and other people who have joined his cause have not been willing to do."

Much of Ebert and Siskel's argument rely on the notion that the political leaders in question have not actually seen the films or listened to the hip-hop albums they are criticizing and are instead using the debate to lobby voters in their base.

Here's proof that Ebert's influential voice never failed to be heard. Watch the entire clip above, or click here to see a highlight from the discussion.