The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House. The War Room is a vivid document of a political moment whose truths (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) still ring in our ears.
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In which one James Carville rightly ascends into legend ("It's not horse shoes and it's not hand grenades"). Perhaps the one aspect holding "The War Room" back is its brevity, no doubt a result of being released in the VHS era. Circa 2016, with modern viewers happily binge-watching 7 seasons of "The West Wing" without coming up for air, you kind of have to long for a 3-hour cut of this documentary on Blu-ray.
Fantastically crafted by a pair of excellent documentarians, The War Room is everything that House of Cards (i.e.) should be and more. It's not about shooting from the hip, but understanding what makes people tick and, ultimately, believing in what you are doing. Pennebaker and Hegedus capture the passion, the tactics and the will to transform a country like very few have done before - fiction or not.
Along with James Ridgeway's looser, snarkier Feed (not on here at this point, I don't think?), this is the film about that other Clinton's first presidential campaign that cracks wisest and deepest. Of obvious and incisive moment, too (as I write this, anyway). Your perspective may be that of a more hopeful future. I hope so.
Great behind the scenes look but certainly doesn't help the uninitiated. Didn't see any of the genius that has been discussed regarding this campaign team, and not having any exposure to campaign teams before and after this one, I had no idea what it is that they changed. I'm sure its stunning for those in the know. Really wish I was.
This film got me fired up about politics in a way that I have not been in quite some time. Am I too realistic? Cynical? Disillusioned by failed policies of the man elected in this film? Regardless, I found myself swept up in the politics as a sort of game - and I can understand how these professional politicians become involved looking to change the system, only to find that they are ultimately the ones who change.
Passionate and intelligent, but difficult to follow without background, or information on the relationship between Clinton and the communications team. Such opaqueness or absence may stimulate a sceptic mind into suspicion, or learning.