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Political Film Evaluation Project - Research Paper Example

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RECOUNT A POLITICAL MOVIE EVALUATION Submitted by FILM ANNOTATION The film Recount shows democracy in action during the 2000 U.S. presidential elections. It depicts politicians pushing democratic processes to limits for party interests. Since the film has Vice President Al Gore’s campaign strategist Ron Klain (played by Kevin Stacey) as its main character, the pro-Democrat bias is manifest…
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By law, the recount is legal since Bush’s winning margin over Gore at the end of the election was a mere .5% of the electoral college votes. The Democrats therefore sued for a machine recount in Florida, since the state’s electoral votes determine the winner of the presidential elections. Amidst twists and turns, the Democrats’ legal moves were successful, and even won a Florida Supreme Court decision to hand-recount all ballots in the state. Meanwhile, the Republicans were shown to have over-played the 3rd Amendment game through anonymous death threats, objections to every ballot count and a violent riot in Miami. Finally, they brought the case to the U.S. Supreme Court which ordered the final halt to the Florida recount. Feeling the hard blow of the 2000 election, Gore still supported democracy, stating “I have to end this war when I know I can’t win; even if I win, I can’t win.” FILM ANALYSIS The film Recount depicts the most controversial 2000 presidential elections, displaying how the constitutional right to vote is translated from concept to reality. The right to vote is anchored on the principle of democratic participation by the citizenry, but actual exercise of it has complexity. Admissibly, there is evidence even today of continuing low turnout of voters, high partisanship with politicians “exploiting the politics of fear, misusing politics of faith, misleading the American people. . . degrading the nation’s image in the world” (Time, May 2007). Based on Jake Topper’s book on the Florida Election 2000, Danny Strong wrote the film’s screenplay which evoked mixed reviews as “a conscientious script, yet insufficient to rouse righteous spirit even as, . . . our republic gets banana’d.” (Recount Reviews). Jay Roach who had directed thought-provoking film documentaries teamed up with Danny Strong to deliver what was commented on as “an astute and deliciously engrossing film”(Recount Reviews). The film is the Democrat’s story of the 2000 presidential elections. It gives focus, however, to strategic moves of party leaders from both the Democrat and Republican camps. Ron Klain (portrayed by Kevin Stacey) plays the pivotal role throughout the film, although there is the abiding presence of Vice President Al Gore in scenes in which Klain receives calls from Gore who stressed respect for the law and the courts above party interests. In the film, however, there is evidence of extreme partisanship in both camps. The influence of the two parties extended to the inner chambers of government, as in a scene in which a Republican lobbyist dictates the moves of the Florida Secretary of State who has the responsibility to set deadlines and declare the winner of the state presidential elections. In the U.S. Supreme Court hearing, the film showed inserts of the names of justices and the administration which appointed them. This hinted at the foreboding decision they would issue on the Bush versus Gore case. The High Court Read More
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