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The filmmakers follow Oliver North's unsuccessful 1994 bid for a Virginia Senate seat, focusing on North's campaign strategist, Mark Goodin, and a Washington Post reporter. Mudslinging ensues.Written by
Mike D'Angelo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When I was a little kid I used to be in awe when a president's speech was broadcast on TV. I did not watch the speeches (what child would?) but I was struck by a feeling that they were extremely important. Decisions were being set in motion, I thought. So when I grew up I was surprised to realize that all along it had only been a bunch of hot air. This movie is a document of such hot air. A behind the scenes documentary of a '94 Senate race in Virginia, A Perfect Candidate is both funny and depressing. If you have any hope left that your vote counts for something, that optimism may be destroyed after seeing this movie.
It's Oliver North against Chuck Robb. Robb comes off as very dull/awkward. There is an amazing moment when a reporter asks him if he is in favor of replacing striking workers at factories. Robb says his position on that issue has not changed. So you're in favor of strike worker replacement? "No." You're against it? "I did not say that." Robb then offers a reply which completely dodges the question and walks off.
North is a smoother politician, but you still don't trust his smile. He makes the requisite church appearance, endorses Jesus, and tells the people it's such a relief to talk about something besides politics-as if his running for Senator has nothing to do with why he is speaking at this church. I only came here this morning because I'm Christian just like you, he wants them to believe.
We see North tell college students that he never lied to congress. When asked how he feels about the potentially racist implications of flying a Confederate flag, North makes the suspicious claim that he recently saw Robb wearing a Confederate necktie. As this happens a reporter backstage tells a North strategist that this claim sounds fishy, North's helper responds with a shrug. Apparently he's not the least bit disturbed that his candidate may have just told a blatant lie.
There is a lot of footage of North's campaign strategists. At one point we see one person privately admitting that politics only offer entertainment. But "what we are not offering are solutions...not us, not not anybody." It's almost refreshing for somebody to come right out and admit it.
If you are tired of two-faced politicians and their ever-present vague promises of "change", you need to track this movie down. It is honest, and good for a laugh.
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