Big Mouth Films
Now Showing at: Cincinnati World Cinema, October 26th at 2pm.
Review by: Larry Thomas
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an election coming up in a little over a week. Pundits are pontificating. Candidates are cajoling. Voters are… well; suffice to say… voters have had enough of it. But at the end of all the bilious blather is the time-honored tradition of the process itself. American citizens are offered the opportunity of voting for the candidates and issues that they perceive represent their views.
And that’s the point of the documentary Election Day. It was shot on Election Day 2004 with eleven camera crews and producers recording the voting process, locations, difficulties and more. There are first-time voters, long-time voters, poll watchers, poll workers and people like you may know from your neighborhood. The film isn’t about the issues or the candidates, but rather the voters. Why they vote; what motivates them to engage in the process; why do volunteers give their time to get people to the polls.
The eleven crews cover a cross-section of America in order to capture a variety of voting experiences. One crew is in a small farming village with a population of 94. Another is in Florida where there’s major interest in electing the first African-American sheriff in the town’s history. Others head to Chicago, St. Louis, and New York City. And one was in Cincinnati, with a look at Buzz Dieters, who was in charge of the write-in campaign for his brother Joe, who was running for Hamilton County Prosecutor.
In many ways, Election Day was like a less-than-24-hour film project. The filming was done from just prior to polls opening, until just after closing. There are no dramatic revelations, no conspiracy theories, nothing that is necessarily aimed at stirring a red or blue pot. It’s about people like you who vote. They stand in line in the rain to vote. They travel long distances to vote. They do whatever it takes to pull that switch or mark that ballot. Some difficulties are encountered, as expected, and questions are raised, but the film, directed by Katy Chevigny, is an engaging look at the process itself.
Following the showing of Election Day, a post-film discussion will be held featuring two of the Cincinnati-based filmmakers who participated on the local crew. Melissa Godoy, cinematographer and field producer, and Andrea Torrice, field producer, will discuss the film and the project.
And if you have any reservations at all about voting on November 4th, you need to see this film to remind yourself once again why we ALL should be voting.
Election Day is a presentation of Cincinnati World Cinema. There is one showing only on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm in the Cincinnati Art Museum Theatre.