By The People – The Election Of Barack Obama (2009/Sony DVD)
Sound: C+ Extras: B- Documentary: B
Like him or not, Barack Obama’s election is more than
historic, it is remarkable that things were so bad than a first term senator with
new ideas and a new direction was able to effectively run well enough for
President that he could win by a landslide.
If you did not live though it, you would find it hard to believe for
good reason all that happened. However,
Directors Amy Rice and Alicia Sams decided to start a documentary about him
long before 2006 and little did they know what they were in for. All that taping has resulted in a key
documentary entitled By The People – The
Election Of Barack Obama (2009) that shows it all.
Originally aired on HBO, the focus begins with the young
senator having his own early success and making some interesting observations
even then. As the very early wrangling
among the two political parties for 2008 started, Obama saw an opportunity to
possibly run for the office at a time when most people did not think a black
president would ever be a reality. With
that said, The Republicans were barely in the White House with two near wins
for George W. Bush and as things were going worse and worse, a large group was
intending to run for the Democrats and one-time First Lady and now Senator
Hillary Clinton was the assumed front runner.
Turns out she was so sure she was that she did not go into
full action to secure her position early.
Besides attacks from others in her party (Bill Richardson noted that she
was going around as if she had already received the nomination), Obama saw an
opening and took it. The nearly
two-hours here go from the beginnings to the primaries to Obama versus the
Republicans and the far Right. At that
point, the shift is the one people are still seeing, which includes remarkably
racist attacks, stupid claims that had nothing to do with facts or reality and
the infatuation with Sarah Palin as part of the John McCain ticket (and political
stunt that backfired) that helped cause a further spilt within the already
The rest is history and when all is said and done, you see
the catastrophe that was avoided by the American Electorate begin awakened out
of a deep sleep and overthrowing Neo-Conservatism in record numbers after about
three decades of abuse. Things may not
have worked out as well as those who voted Obama in had expected, but he is still dealing with the mess left by that
abuse. But the main focus is the man and
his actions. We also get to meet his
campaign team in depth and this all adds up to one of the most interesting
political documentaries of the last few years.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a mix of HD
footage and analog tape still being used more often at the time of this
program’s start date. With that said, it
can be soft, but is also clean and well-edited.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad for a talk-based program with the
occasional location audio flaw and simple stereo audio of some clips means we
do not get much of a soundfield. Extras
include a feature-length audio commentary, 10 Bonus Scenes, a making-of
featurette and DVD-ROM link to more.
- Nicholas Sheffo