Saturday, June 26, 2004

Journeys with George

Whether you’re left or right, statist or dynamist, you can’t help but laugh at Alexandra Pelosi’s “home movie” shot during George Bush’s 2000 election campaign. Much like a contemporary video version of Boys on the Bus, Journeys with George captures well the flavor of the campaign trail and the role of the media in the campaign. I watched the movie on my laptop flying from Chicago to Portland. I laughed so much that my seat mate asked what I’d been watching.

Vignettes of the candidate, George W. Bush are the focus of the movie; capturing many unguarded moments, mostly goofy and funny. But the real story is what the grinding year long campaign does to the relationships among reporters and “shooters” (photographers) and between them the candidate and his staff.

This is not a pat movie with a strongly biased point of view. The portrayal of the principals is very straight forward. There is also ambiguity – about what kind of man Dubya really is, the role of media, and the biases that everyone brings to the campaign. The story seems to roll back and forth between an adversarial relationship between candidate and media, and one of shared experience and camaraderie.

And this is not just a political movie. There’s enough partying, romance, rumor and life to entertain even the apolitical.


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