Doc The Vote! Dispatches from the Campaign Trail
In his essay on the campaign documentary, Paul Stekler provides a good list of essential titles that have helped define the genre and move it forward. And in her article on American Experience, Shelley Gabert references several exemplary programs about US Presidents that have earned Peabodys, Emmys and Duponts for the PBS series. Here, we offer some additional titles to complement those cited in this issue. This is by no means a comprehensive or definitive list, but simply a sample of films to get you started.
The Making of the President--1960, 1964, 1968 (1963, 1966, 1969; Dir.: Mel Stuart; Prod.) David L. Wolper)
Subject: The US Presidential Campaigns of 1960, 1964, 1968; based on the books of the same name by Theodore White.
Chicago: The Seasons Change (1969; Prods.: Film Group of Chicago
Subject: The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
The Battle of Chile (1976; Dir.: Patricio Guzman)
Subject: Salvador Allende's rise to a democratically elected presidency of Chile, and his assassination in a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet.
The Times of Harvey Milk (1984; Dir.: Rob Epstein; prod.: Richard Schmeichen)
Subject: Harvey Milk, who was elected to San Francisco City Council, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected in California.
Huey Long (1985; Dir.: Ken Burns; Prod.: Richard Kilberg)
Subject: The irascible governor and senator from Louisiana, Huey Long.
The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt (1986; Dir.: Harrison Engle)
Subject: The life and presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.
FRONTLINE: The Choice (1988, Dir./Prod.: Sherry Jones; 1992, Dir./Prod.: Thomas Lennon; 1996, Dir./Prod.: Helen Whitney; 2000, Dir./Prod.: Michael Kirk; 2004, Dir./Prod.: Martin Smith; 2008, Dir./Prod.: Michael Kirk).
Subject: A quadrennial examination of the lives, campaigns and qualifications of the US Presidential candidates.
Vote for Me: Politics in America (1996; Dirs./Prods.: Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Paul Stekler)
Subject: The American campaign and electoral process, from the smallest precincts to the White House.
George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire (2000; Dir.: Paul Stekler; Prod.: Daniel McCabe)
Subject: The life and career of Alabama Governor George Wallace.
Journeys with George (2002; Dir./Prod.: Alexandra Pelosi)
Subject: The 2000 US Presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2002; Dirs./Prods.: Joan Sekler, Richard Ray Perez)
Subject: The most controversial US Presidential election in modern times: the 2000 contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed (2004; Dir.: Shola Lynch; Prod.: Phil Bertelsen)
Subject: Brooklyn-based Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm's 1972 presidential bid.
American Blackout (2006; Dir.: Ian Inaba)
Subject: Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Cynthia McKinney, as she campaigns to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of black voters in the 2000 and 2004 elections.
Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? (2006; Dir.: Frank Popper; Prods.: Matt Coen, Mike Kime)
Subject: The 2004 campaign of Jeff Smith, 29-year-old candidate for US Congressman from St. Louis.
My Country, My Country (2006; Dir./Prod.: Laura Poitras)
Subject: Iraq national election on January 30, 2005 with a focus on Dr. Riyadh, an Iraqi medical doctor, father of six and Sunni political candidate.
Chicago 10 (2007; Dir.: Bret Morgen; Prod.: Graydon Carter)
Subject: The trial of the Chicago Seven, which followed the tumultuous events of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Iron Ladies of Liberia (2007; Dirs.: Daniel Junge, Slatta Scott Johnson)
Subject: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman elected as President of the African nation of Liberia.
Orange Revolution (2007; Dir.: Steve York)
Subject: Ukraine's 2004 presidential campaign: Viktor Yushchenko vs. Viktor Yanukovich, and the 17-day around-the-clock protest that followed the outcome.