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So Goes the Nation
So Goes the Nation
Actors: George W. Bush, John Kerry, Ed Gillespie, William Bacon, James Baker III
Directors: Adam Del Deo, James D. Stern
Genres: Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 30min

(Documentary) "...SO GOES THE NATION" examines America's tumultuous electoral process through the eyes of diverse politicians, activists, and voters. The 2004 presidential election provides the stage, showing how the votin...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: George W. Bush, John Kerry, Ed Gillespie, William Bacon, James Baker III
Directors: Adam Del Deo, James D. Stern
Creators: Adam Del Deo, Alex LaGory, Christopher C. Chen, Don Kempf, Douglas Hansen, Eleanor Nett
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Ifc
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/13/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A valuable critique on media and polictics
A. A. Jager | rome ny | 03/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"And one that whould make any thoughtful person worry. The 2004 presidential race came down to a wire that stretched across Ohio. The film makers taped the race from the perspective of both sides. The stratagists on both sides are surprisingly open about their tactics and, more importantly, about their opinions. Whatever the actual merits of either party's platform; Polls showed that the voters in Ohio agreed more with the Democratic positions, but in the end more voted Republican, largely because the Republican's kept their message simple: "You might not agree with George Bush but at least you'll know where he stands."
Kerry's message meanwhile (although more Ohio voters actually agreed with it) was scattered and lacked a theme. Kerry was his own worst enemy. He had a proclivity for tripping over his tongue, soundbites of which the Republicans were able to use in their "Flip Flop" attacks. And when he should've spoken up during the swift boat attack ads, he remained quiet. He also allowed himself to be taped doing something other than riding a horse or chopping wood, which seems to be a big mistake in American politics. That his handlers allowed him to go wind surfing should've cost them any future political employment. I half expected to see him curling in the next shot.
One Republican stratagist admits he was relieved when Howard Dean's campaign crashed and burned, because he knew it would be easier to subterfuge Kerry. The Republican stratagists were quite shrewd, while the Democratic stratagists may not have qualified to run a highschool campaign.
One simple unfortunate truth that emerges is that attack ads work. The electorate claims that they're sick of mud slinging and that they don't respond to it, but in fact they do. And campaign stratagists are (or should be) well aware of this.
Another truth that emerges is the utter superficiality of a campaign process that's all about TV images and smear jobs. I'm surprised more people don't keep away from the voting booths.
I was surprised that the supporters of either side really cared that much about their candidate or their party. Both sides had supporters who were intelligent and honest and dedicated, and who believed in what they were doing. And yet I had this feeling that what their party apparatus had to offer them for their herculean efforts wasn't enough. To the victor goes a flat glass of champaign. To the vanquished goes the same. And if they said "participating in the democratic process was enough of a reward for them" I'd remind them that a process that lacks any kind of honest dialog or exchange of ideas can hardly be called democratic. If it rests soley on mud slinging and 'image' it's a beauty contest, and it's a damed shame.
This is a very troublesome documentary. If you believe that democracy is a good thing and that it hindges on a well informed electorate you'll be saddened to see this. But see it you must."
So Goes The Nation
Dennis G. Lagory | 05/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An even-handed, perceptive and compelling view of the 2004 presidential campaign. Must viewing for anyone interested in American politics."
Balanced and Informative
Martin Shackelford | Saginaw, MI USA | 03/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"With interviews of strategists from both parties, the filmmaker presents a remarkably balanced and informative look at politics in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential election. Some issues, like game-playing with the number of voting machines in each district, are only glancingly mentioned, but the overall presentation helps in understanding how Kerry lost."