Early in 1996, three Republican campaign operatives take a job in secret assisting Boris Yeltsin's reelection. Once in Moscow, they find he's polling at 6 percent with the election a few months away. While Dick Dresner wants to go home, George Gorton and Joe Shumate vote to stay. First, they must get someone's attention; they succeed finally with Yeltsin's daughter. Then it's polling, focus groups, messages and spin. Even as Yeltsin's numbers go up, the trio are unsure who hired them and whether Yeltsin's allies have a different plan in mind than election victory. When the going gets toughest, it's Gorton who puts a spin on our stake: democracy and capitalism must win.
Electing a Russian president the American way.
Did You Know?
The scene where Shumate (played by Liev Schreiber) is stacking furniture against the door of his hotel is something that really happened, and happened more than once. The consultants' paranoia is well founded. During the 1996 election cycle in Russia, the campaign manager for the mayor of St. Petersburg had acid thrown in his face, and the running mate for the mayor of Moscow was critically injured in a car bomb. See more
In one of the first scenes, the white cathedral with the golden domes (Cathedral of Christ the Saviour) is depicted in the background. However, this cathedral was destroyed 1931 and rebuilt in 2000. By 1996, the new dome was not yet completed. See more
You never lie to the press. You just try very hard to mislead them.