ONE BRIGHT SHINING MOMENT retraces George McGovern's bold presidential campaign of 1972 - a grassroots campaign that fought for peace and justice, and positioned ideas and people first. But... See full summary »
ONE BRIGHT SHINING MOMENT retraces George McGovern's bold presidential campaign of 1972 - a grassroots campaign that fought for peace and justice, and positioned ideas and people first. But what is remembered today as being the ultimate political defeat of the American Century may also have been its high watermark. The film poses this central question: what does the crushing electoral defeat of a man so well respected for his decency and intellect say about the electoral process, the American government, and more importantly, what does it say about the forces at work on the American people- then and now? Featuring interviews with the candidate himself, supporters and activists like Gore Vidal, Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty, Howard Zinn, and music from Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Donovan, and Elvis Costello. Written by
What you didn't know about Senator George McGovern and presidential candidate George McGovern is captured by director Stephen Vittoria in this documentary which should be required viewing by all who care about our country and our election process. But it's far more. It's the story of how a distinguished professor of history, with all the values and integrity that we would like to attribute to those who enter politics and determine much of our destiny, sacrifices a secure and magnificent life with his family, for that which might make our country safer, more respected, and less corrupt. He does this because he believes it can be done to save the lives of those young Americans dying needlessly in an unjustifiable war in Vietnam. And he does it so that he and his family and all Americans can have real hope for the future. That's what we wanted then, that's what we hoped for in our leaders then, and that's, oddly what we still want so desperately in this perilous world now. There are moments in the film that remind us of things you will recall or be fascinated to know because you didn't really know the truth then. Some of what you had thought, which you will see, was totally false. You'll not only learn of the frailty of our democracy due to television, election time, commercial spots but with 20-20 hindsite, you'll see how we, the American voters, were tricked. The comic, genius of political observation, Dick Gregory, and so many magificant observers of history in the film provide intelligent even humorous observations about our lives and our system of government. It really doesn't matter what side you're on. Considering where we find ourselves today, where our nation's young soldiers, men and women are fighting in Iraq, the film tells us, bluntly that we have not really learned, or grown, or done much about our historic blunders. It's shocking. In the time of George McGovern's presidential bid against President Nixon, who would later resign in disgrace (lest he be impeached and thrown out of office), we had a choice. We could correct the mistakes of how we go into war, in Vietnam under two administrations (Johnson and Nixon), in which lost us 60,000 Americans, and wounded so many more, or we could "stay the course," as we do today. This extraordinary look into our past is like a roadmap to the future. It demonstrates how the nature of American politics does not change nomatter how obvious the truth is, particularly delivered by a 500-1 shot as was McGovern. Senator McGovern, for over a decade, had opposed our involvement in the war in Vietnam and pledged, above all, that if elected he would bring our troops home and end the senseless deaths of our young and brave men and women, fighting soldiers. This film is a tribute to a man, a former fighter pilot (35 missions in WWII), a respected senator from South Dakota and candidate for the presidency. Smear tactics from Nixon's party's CREEP, that will shock you and amaze you, and even the strange occurrences related to the attempted assassination of George Wallace will make your jaw drop. But through it all Senator McGovern had hope and gave the working people hope, the poor and isolated people hope where none had existed since the days of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. You'll see images and hear words of that time when it was marvelous to have someone with the courage. And you'll see the power of a political machine that constantly tried to crush him. I ask you to find this film. Order it online in DVD when it's out. Read the interview in VENICE MAGAZINE (written by Alex Simon and published by Nancy Bishop). This is so important to all of us if we are ever to have hope again about our nation and our leaders. And it's as appropriate now because we are again locked in a front page war that was so similar. Don't rob yourself of this great film about one great man who would have made a difference in this nation's course. There aren't many but it gives us a slim sense of hope that there might be someone to renew our hope again and make American all that we want it to be and make us safe.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?