Friday, April 08, 2005

American Politics Archeology

Robert Drew's Primary (1960) is an example of Americana cinema verité. The ones who are not political junkies will bash it as a great waste of time, but still it deserves some attention span. Using technologies new for the time - portable cameras and sync audio - Drew shows the critical points in 1960 Democratic primary in Wisconsin, between Senator Hubert Humphrey and Senator Kennedy (Nixon is just shadowy referred). Focusing in the urban constituencies, Kennedy anticipatedly conquers the hearth of the swing state. On the other side, Humphrey directs too much his chautauquan chanting towards the folksy people. Remarkable the scenes in which Draw capture the feet of the registered voters inside the ballots choosing the candidate for the party's nomination. Kennedy addressing a sort of Manifest Destiny is another great moment.