Campaigning in the time of coronavirus. It’s just not quite the same. At least we have the movies to tide us over for awhile.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to keep our distance, the face-to-face visceral glad-handing of politics and all its human messiness has been shelved. Here at Political Theater, we’ve been fortunate enough to have had on the podcast filmmakers and subjects who have chronicled what political publications sometimes take for granted will always be there: the urgency and significance of the campaigns that shape our society.
That means documentaries about gerrymandering, that prone-to-mischief process that can poison politics; the intimate, behind-the-scenes moments of Beto O’Rourke’s epic Senate run in Texas; the nascent who-saw-it-coming beginnings of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; or a comprehensive look at Bobby Kennedy’s evolution from political street-fighter to presidential candidate.
One of my favorites on the list is “The Front Runner,” director Jason Reitman’s fictional take on the downfall of Sen. Gary Hart, the man who seemed destined to be president before he got caught up in the fast-forwarding of politics and journalism in 1987. Our podcast with Reitman and co-writers Matt Bai and Jay Carson is the one I would take to a desert island. Think you know Hugh Jackman from his roles as Wolverine and the like? Wait until you see his Hart throw an ax.
Eventually, this will all end, and we political theatergoers will hop back on the trail. Until then, enjoy these podcasts and the movies themselves:
- ‘Slay the Dragon’ filmmakers take fight to gerrymandering (Available for streaming through the websites of some of your local movie theaters or via services like Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and AppleTV)
- ‘Running with Beto’: The offstage version of Beto O’Rourke (Available on HBO subscription services and other streaming services like Google Play)
- Movie Night: “Knock Down the House” (Available on Netflix)
- 50 Years Later, Bobby Kennedy for President lives on (Available on Netflix)
- What ‘The Front Runner’ says about today’s politics (Available on subscription services Hulu and Sling and other streaming services like Vudu)