Coming to virtual cinemas today, Friday, January 29:
THE REUNITED STATES
Woods Hole 2020
Nashville, Cinequest, United Nations Association, Milwaukee
A profile of individuals attempting to bridge divides in an increasingly polarized America.
Inspired by Mark Gerzon’s similarly titled THE REUNITED STATES OF AMERICA, filmmaker Ben Rekhi follows five Americans in their missions to find common ground between seemingly intractable sides. David, a former Republican strategist, and his wife Erin sells their Texas home to travel with their kids to all 50 states to listen to the stories of strangers, primarily confronting the idea of white privilege in the process. Similarly, Susan, who became an activist after the murder of her daughter, Heather Heyer, in Charlottesville in 2017, seeks to prevent other violence while also acknowledging the role Heather’s race played in garnering media attention in contrast to countless deaths of people of color each year. More explicitly taking on the limitations of a two-party system are Greg Orman, an independent gubernatorial candidate in Kansas; and Steven Olikara, the founder of the Millennial Action Project, a coalition to strengthen bipartisan communication and cooperation among younger politicians. The film is a well-intentioned project, and one meant to inspire hope that our nation can work past division, but with so many subjects and concerns to juggle, it struggles to find a clear and sustained focus and ends up feeling too episodic as a result.