Release Date: September 16th, 2005 (NYC-Quad Cinema) by First Run Features.
Directed by Stephen Vittoria.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about George McGovern's failed 1972 Presidential campaign against Richard Nixon.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Despite that McGovern did not win the 1972 election, he still remains a very interesting and charismatic person who stands firmly with his bold political ideas. In many ways, he is a role model of an honest, sincere politician who has no hidden agenda. Nixon was much more of a shady figure--but McGovern stood by his own beliefs which put emphasis on humanitarian values. One such idea was to end the war in Vietnam as soon as he would be inaugurated. He was certainly not afraid to voice his opinions about how too much money is spent on defending the nation, which could be spent on something more productive. His love for Americans was very apparent: his aim was for each American to receive an annual income from the government. He fought to defeat world hunger by being the head of the Food for Peace program. His crucial mistake that led to his defeat by Nixon was his poorly thought-out decision to elect Thomas Eaggleton, who ended up diagnosed as mentally ill. McGovern claims that he did not know of his illness when he elected him. If only he did more research. Much of the film is very nicely narrated by Amy Goodman. The narration does not explain too much, though. Fortunately, there is enough footage of McGovern--both past and present--and his supporters to make this a very lively, informative and coherent film.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: This film manages to raise very interesting questions about the value of honest, clean politics--which is a term seldom used these days. As honest, clean, and well-meaning as McGovern's politics were, his performance during the campaign was eventually flawed. Performance is always important in every situation. One tiny flaw can ruin your reputation. The actions a candidate does at the end of a campaign is the most important in the eyes of the people because that is the last image they get. If only McGovern were to see things more clearly and taken more time to do research at the end of his campaign, perhaps he would have won. The game of politics is not always fair. The real question is whether Americans would be happier today if McGovern had won the election. Hopefully, the answer is yes, but, honestly, there is no way to really know unless it really happened. Fortunately, his ideas still live on today even though he lost. Winning isn't everything.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: An informative documentary about a very charismatic political candidate whose humanitarian, sincere political ideas made him a role model, despite his tiny flaw at the end of his campaign that made him lose the election.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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