How Obama's Campaign Video Stacks Up, Politically and Cinematically

Friday, March 16, 2012

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet troops following remarks on the end of America’s war in Iraq, at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The biographical campaign film has a long and proud place in U.S. political theater: from 1952's "The Man from Abilene," about Eisenhower, to 1992's "The Man from Hope," about Bill Clinton, these films have become an essential part of the campaign season. They not only try to appeal to voters' political concerns, they also try to cement in their minds an impression of the candidates' personalities.

The Obama campaign released a 17-minute documentary-style film last night called "The Road We've Traveled." It's narrated by Tom Hanks and directed by David Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of "An Inconvenient Truth." What does it have to offer, politically and cinematically?

Addressing thie film's cinematic qualities is Roger Sherman, the Oscar-nominated director of such documentaries as "Medal of Honor" and "Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds." As for its political accuracy and goals, Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich offers his take.

Guests:

Roger Sherman and Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Ben Gottlieb

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