Filmmaker Jeff Deutchman has crafted the definitive documentary chronicling the hours leading up to and following the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. The only question is, is the film really necessary yet?
Less then a year after the date in question, the event is still fresh on the minds of most Americans. Do we really need a documentary like 11/4/08 that captures the mundane moments along with the momentous when we just finished experiencing the date ourselves? This documentary could find real legs in coming years. In the meantime, though, the documentary fills a bit unnecessary.
Using a tactic similar to the one the Beastie Boys utilized for their film Awesome, I Fuckin’ Shot That!, Deutchman asked his friends (including SXSW darling Joe Swanberg) for assistance in making his movie. Assembling the footage shot by filmmakers around the world, Deutchman edited together a chronological look at certain aspects of November 4, 2008’s historical undertaking.
From volunteers canvassing their community in support of Obama to a snapshot of the optimism abroad, the film does an admirable job recording the famed hope that surrounded Obama’s election
What the film is missing, though, is balance. While Deutchman and pals admirably captured the struggles of the Democratic party to elect Obama, there was little footage from the other side of the aisle. This equilibrium could have added to the thoroughness of the documentary and provided some contrast to the seemingly unending optimism sprinkled throughout the film.
Deutchman is apparently not done with his film, though. The director is still requesting additional footage from the day. Hopefully he will consider putting in some documentation of the Republican side — if only to capture that party’s unresponsive struggle.
Category: Emerging Visions
Director: Jeff Deutchman
Showtimes:Friday, March 19 at 5 PM at G-Tech
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The South by Southwest film festival will be held in Austin from March 12 through the 20th. For more information about attending the festival and the films being shown, visit www.sxsw.com/film.
Robert Saucedo is an avid movie watcher with seriously poor sleeping habits. The Mikey from Life cereal of film fans, Robert will watch just about anything — good, bad or ugly. He has written about film for newspapers, radio and online for the last 10 years. This has taken a toll on his sanity — of that you can be sure. Follow him on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500.