Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Senator Obama Goes To Africa|
Actor: Barack Obama
Director: Bob Hercules
Barack Obama returns to his family's roots on an emotional journey to Africa-- the vast continent that is gaining increasing importance in this age of globalization. Part personal odyssey and part chronicle of diplomacy in... more »
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Solid Documentary Work + Remarkable Subject = Historical Fil
Scott Forbes | USA | 08/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have read the following books regarding the Illinois Senator: Obama's "Dreams of My Father...," "The Audacity of Hope" and "Obama: From Promise to Power" by David Mendell. My recommendation would be to see this powerful documentary after reading at least Mendell's book, as the events in Bob Hercules and Keith Walker's film are described in "Obama: From Promise to Power" in detailed chronology. For me, it was exciting to be watching "Senator Obama Goes to Africa" and knowing (from Mendell's book) about the events I was seeing. It was almost like I was a tour guide for my family as we watched the documentary.
Ultimately, what I'm saying is that there are several sources of information on Obama's career and life that compliment each other and each make their own unique contributions. Obama's "Dreams of My Father..." adds a personal background to this documentary that is important, too.
But, focusing on the Hercules and Walker work, it could be said that there is nothing more powerful than seeing images of things that really happened. For the most part, a lot of us take photography, film (etcetera) as the closest thing to evidence of the truth that there is. Of course, like any work, a documentary film is edited, and it has the signature of its makers and their points of view. Yet, Hercules and Walker seem to manage pretty well to keep themselves out of the way and let viewers see this journey for themselves. As in all good documentaries, it gives you that feeling that you're an unnoticed "fly on the wall," able to see things without them seeing you. Another metaphor is that it's like a window, and it achieves what they call in film school and scholarly research, "the willingnesss to suspend disbelief." The documentary pulls you in, making you forget yourself and the fact that you are watching a film. You are inside it, believing its "reality."
I would not want to write about the film's content's here, as they would spoil things for others yet to see "Senator Obama Goes to Africa." But, I can say a few general things.
Obama narrates this documentary himself ("voice-overs") in a modest but very focused way, and his comments are sparse when compared to the percentage of the film that goes without any commentary at all. Michelle is with him on the trip, and she comments on her feelings about events happening during the trip, too. This journey to the continent from which his ancestry comes is pretty remarkable and shows Obama's overwhelming popularity in each place he visits, as well as his extremely effective ways of bringing attention to important issues out in the open. There's a lot more I could say, but I'll keep it to this last point: People are crazy about him, just wild.
You have to see this film. It will be in archives for centuries for future generations to see.
Peggy | grottoes, va | 07/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"GOOD GLIMPSE OF THE MAN WHO WOULD BE PRESIDENT. HELPS TO DISPEL SOME OF THE RAMPANT INTERNET RUMORS AND SHOWS A PERSONAL SIDE OF A VERY PUBLIC FIGURE. WE ENJOYED IT AFTER READING DREAMS FROM MY FATHER. THIS MAN HAS A VERY INTERESTING HISTORY."
J. Farris | East Coast, USA | 05/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the upcoming election looming, this video helps illustrate the depth and concern that Senator Obama will bring to foreign policy, not only in Africa, but in a broader sense. It also adds to the evidence and intrigue of his personality as genuine and highlights the candor he brings to potentially difficult subjects. The imagery of Africa, the brief visit with his family in Kenya, and the glimpse of how Senator Obama is viewed abroad are added reasons to view this item."
A timely documentary on DVD following Democratic presidentia
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 02/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Senator Obama Goes to Africa is a timely documentary on DVD following Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama during a visit to Africa, the land of his ancestry. He visits the prison where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 21 years, a Darfur refugee camp in Chad, and Kenya, the home of his father. He bears witness to political strife, and the horrific effects of genocide, seeking to infuse a call for diplomacy and optimism amid hardship and tragedy. Biographies, an African journey in pictures, and a visit to the Masai Mara Game Preserve with the Obama family round out this profound look at both a complex continent and the soul of a man who would become America's President, highly recommended. 60 minutes, color.