11/4/08

Director: Jeff Deutchman

Writer: Jeff Deutchman

Cast: Kathleen Allen, Patrick Allen and Rufus Barner

Release Date: 10/20/2010

On November 4, 2008, the drama of Barack Obama’s victory in the U.S. presidential election transfixed the world. Weeks before, director Jeff Deutchman asked filmmakers living around the globe to record their experiences on that fateful day. Using footage shot in Chicago, St. Louis, Geneva, New Delhi, Berlin and more, the documentary provides a sweeping, emotional look at peoples’ hopes and concerns about the historic moment as it unfolded.

There are a few wonderful clips like that of an elderly black campaign worker reflecting on her memories of the death of Emmet Till in 1955 and why this means so much to her. The use of a few international clips brings home that an American election has world historical significance and international consequences. But most of the picture is incomplete and totally lacking in historical and political context. This is where the random verite style fails and where incorporating some expert analysis of the events could greatly strengthen the presentation of one of the most important events of our times.

Some of the video is quite amateurish while some is clearly shot with higher-grade equipment, but combined, all styles are rather fluid and maintain a warm home video type of atmosphere. One portion of the film focuses entirely on a cell phone while one contributor in Los Angeles talks to his mother. President Obama himself brings down the curtain on the festivities via his victory speech in the Windy City’s Grant Park. “(“This is your moment. This is your time.” An emotionally-engaging film featuring folks truly moved on what many will undoubtedly mark for posterity as the day they were most proud to be an American.

The film feels rather flat in hindsight, but I have to admit this is coming out at a hard time in the Obama legacy. He’s very much behind the eightball like Clinton was in 1994, as the Conservative Regime tries to push his agenda further towards the center. Not all hope is lost, but this time will become rather difficult for Obama to actually accomplish any change. Basically, he took on Big Pharma and lost. It’s nice to see the hope and optimism from such a can-do documentary, but I wish that the filmmakers could’ve released it a little earlier. I’d recommend checking it out when it eventually arrives on Video on Demand.

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The film is currently available through the following platforms:
Amazon VOD: http://www.amazon.com/11-4-08/dp/B0047SKQLY
Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/11-4-08/70134651
Sony Playstation3 VOD System

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