7.4/10
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13 user 6 critic

Anytown, USA (2005)

Three Candidates, Two blind Politicians, One Race. Anytown USA follows a tightly run race in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey and resonates as an all-too-familiar look at partisan politics in our increasingly polarized nation.

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All politics is local in this hilarious burlesque of a documentary following a tightly-run mayoral race in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey. When the much-reviled--and legally blind--Republican incumbent Steven Lonegan boldly announces he will run for re-election, the citizens of Bogota go on the offensive to unseat him. Enter Democrat Fred Pesce, coaxed from retirement to share the ticket. With his health in question, and his politics compared to those of Tony Soprano, the field is wide open for sight-challenged town booster and former local football hero Dave Musikant to step in as a long-shot write-in independent candidate--officially making it the only mayoral race in the nation where two of the three candidates are legally blind! Add to the mix the machinations of Jesse "The Body" Ventura's campaign manager, and Anytown USA resonates as an all-too-familiar look at the charade of partisan politics in our increasingly polarized nation. Written by Jamie Hook

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All Politics is Local

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Documentary

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9 December 2005 (USA)  »

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Special Thanks... Indiana Jones See more »

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Edited from Tuesday in November (1945) See more »

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The Blue Danube Op. 314
Written by Johann Strauss
Performed by Robert Miller
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All Politics Really IS Local!
19 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

I grew up in the small town of Guttenberg, New Jersey and became involved in local politics at a young age and after seeing this film it brought back so many memories! Anytown, USA is a captivating documentary that goes in depth to show just how ruthless small town politics can be. The film goes on the campaign trail with all three candidates for mayor. Legally blind Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan(whom I would've supported) was the tough as nails, take no prisoners incumbent who faced opposition from a Democratic challenger in Fred Pesce who clearly had other things on his mind besides the race and a wild card write-in candidate and former star high school athlete, David Musikant who was also legally blind and had enlisted the services of former Jesse Ventura Campaign Manager, Doug Friedline.(Both Musikant and Friedline have passed away since the making of this film.) Perhaps the most interesting side note of this film is how each legally blind candidate views their disability. Lonegan resents and even mocks at times what he perceives to be Musikant's attempt to use his disability to win votes while Lonegan gives a brief synopsis of his failing eyesight while making it clear that he doesn't use it as a crutch. Another interesting moment takes place when Musikant starts spreading rumors about Democratic Challenger Fred Pesce's candidacy after receiving a speculator's claim from someone who claimed to be one of Pesce's people and in turn, unleashes the wrath of a furious Mrs. Pesce. You feel for Pesce in this film because you know that something isn't right with him and it becomes more and more evident as the film progresses and you don't see him knocking on doors with his running mate, Joe Noto.(Who is now a Bogota Councilman.) All of this takes place while some residents are outraged over Lonegan's desire to eliminate the town's only high school in order to cut spending. As a result, Lonegan amasses a resistance who is determined to come up against him for the sole purpose of wanting to see him lose and it becomes quite comical at times.

Roll all of these intangibles into one and you have yourself one slobber-knocker of a film! Kristian Fraga and Juan Dominguez do a spectacular job of documenting the inner workings of small town politics. Another young talent by the name of Amanda Rosa who assisted in the editing of this film and currently heads her own fledgling production company, Directs for Food Productions, did a phenomenal job as well and I sincerely believe that she has a bright future ahead of her as a director.

To cut a long story short, buy this film. It is now out on DVD and you'll love every minute of it!


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