Seattle, IFF Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Full Frame, Dallas,
A candid behind-the-scenes look at Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign for US Senate.
Beto O’Rourke was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2012, representing Texas as a Democrat. He won re-election to two more terms, but instead of seeking re-election last year, he challenged Republican incumbent Ted Cruz for the US Senate. While viewed by many as a fool’s errand given the state’s deep-seated red leanings, the charismatic Everyman shocked naysayers with a campaign that very nearly unseated his regressive opponent, demonstrating that Texas may not be as much of a lock for the Republicans as believed, and brought O’Rourke to national prominence, clearing the way for his current 2020 US Presidential bid. None of this will come as a surprise to anyone watching David Modigliani’s film – as with most campaign docs, the outcome is already known, so what matters is how the story is told and how close one gets to the candidate. Here, the approach is fairly straightforward, but Modigliani benefits from a subject who comes off as genuine, likeable, and optimistic – a mean feat for a politician. In addition, the filmmaker profiles several individuals working on the campaign, providing welcome new personalities to round out the proceedings as they barrel down to the inevitable results of election night, and highlighting how O’Rourke’s campaign has opened the door for potential progressive change in Texas and beyond.