Release Date: October 4th, 2006 (IFC Center) by IFC First Take.
Directed by James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the 2004 Presidential Elections in Ohio.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: …So Goes the Nation follows the Bush and Kerry campaigns during the last days before the elections. Everyone knows the simple answer to why Bush won the elections: he just had more votes than Kerry. However, this film examines the tactics used during the campaign battle. It’s mildly fascinating to watch how the Republican campaign became offensive toward Kerry by highlighting his weaknesses while the Democratic campaign refused to take advantage of the many chances to bash Bush for his many weaknesses. Directors James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo wisely choose not to take a stance on the Democratic side or the Republican side. Instead, they interview campaign managers and media advisors as well as the public. In a somewhat revelatory scene, the campaign manager for the Democrats admits that she wishes she had represented an incumbent which would make her job easier. The Republicans, unfortunately, don’t admit anything so revelatory except that they’re lucky that Kerry was making himself look weak—i.e. by flip-flopping. Despite showing the energy and good/bad tactics during the campaigns, there’s not enough of a coherent conclusion/synthesis that would have made this documentary much more powerful and provocative.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none, other than that politics is a dirty game which basically comes down to Social Darwinism--the survival of the fittest.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough synthesis.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly fascinating, but unremarkable with not enough provocative insight.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD
The "S" Menu