Every now and again, you’ll hear something about how a certain politician couldn’t make it if they ran today. Venal, conspiratorial, and far too fond of late-night drunk dials, Richard Nixon was one of those never-again guys.
The fascinating new documentary Our Nixon, constructed out of hundreds of hours of home movies shot by Nixon staffers, aired earlier this month on CNN and opens Friday in limited release. My review is at Film Racket:
For those raised on The West Wing and stories about the Cuban Missile Crisis, the most surprising thing about President-focused documentary footage is always how good-natured everybody seems to be. That’s because, while the White House might be the most singularly powerful political office in the world, it’s still an office like any other. You can’t deal with issues of detente and Congressional brinkmanship 24 hours a day; occasionally even the most dedicated wonks need to gossip, play pranks, and complain about coworkers. This workaday domesticity is one of the reasons Penny Lane’s absorbing home-movie documentary Our Nixon so inexplicably fascinating…
You can watch the trailer here: