Flashback: US Election

It would be „elections like no other before“, most commentators agreed in debates on perhaps the most closely scrutinised political event of this year. Whatever the outcome of the U.S. presidential election is, one thing seems for sure: their reverberations will sound longer than usually and they will keep analysts busy finding all the possible and impossible angles. Our contribution to this discourse is the mini-retrospective of U.S. presidential elections as captured by documentary filmmakers, offering a flashback at their modern history just days after its latest chapter has been written. That modern history has been strongly affected by the onset of the means of mass-communication, including film and television, which irreversibly changed the style of political campaigning and placed all candidates under close public scrutiny. Candidates’ “camera readiness” has become a vital prerequisite for success; ever since, even a single unfortunate gesture may tilt the outcome of elections one way or another.
Ranging from Primary (1960), a canonical work of direct cinema, to remarkable Election Day (2007), this subtle programme section may also serve as an introduction to the rich tradition of American documentary film, or at least one of its important focuses: politics.

View films from this section