Films on election issues
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The following films explore election issues, with an emphasis on disenfranchisement.
General voting films and videos
- Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story 2008 by Patty Sharaf, featuring Brad Friedman. "Clint Curtis was an everyday computer programmer in Florida until he was asked by a powerful Republican legislator to create vote-rigging software for electronic voting machines. For the first time, Patty Sharaf's terrifying documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies (the Clint Curtis story), recounts the full, remarkable tale. Join journalist/blogger Brad Friedman, as he investigates Curtis's hair-raising claims, uncovering a seamy side of American democracy that mainstream media fails to report. Also featuring: Gore Vidal, Bob Fitrakis, Cynthia McKinney, Harry Hursti, Mavis Georgalis and a host of others."
- Free for All! 2008 by John Wellington Ennis; "features filmmaker John Wellington Ennis—a disillusioned American—in Ohio with a business suit, sense of humor, faded ideals and a camera. The film explores recent evidence of election fraud happening in the U.S. since 2000... He grabs his camera and goes on a mission to find answers in the swing state of Ohio during the 2006 election. Along the way, while interviewing a number of authors, scholars, politicians and celebrities to piece together the big picture, he discovers a scandalous privatized electoral system. Despite the daunting evidence and circumstances, Ennis finds hope by launching his own citizen journalism group called Video the Vote, which has inspiring results. However, investigative journalist Greg Palast points out that Ennis’ work is not yet done—the 2008 Election is the next to be stolen...This election year, the game at play in Ohio and across the country is not to win the most votes, but to stop the most voters... "FREE FOR ALL!" is "one dude’s quest for democracy" with BBC investigative journalist and best-selling author Greg Palast. Interviews include Jerry Springer, Bob Fritrakis of The Free Press and Brad Friedman of BradBlog, among many others. The film is produced by Holly Mosher ("Side Effects") and executive produced by by Richard Ray Perez (co-director of "Unprecedented"). Available online for free.
- Stealing America: Vote by Vote 2008 by Dorothy Fadiman. "STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from the U.S. presidential election of 2004 – plus startling stories from key races in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Unbiased and nonpartisan, the film sheds light on a decade of vote counts that don't match votes cast – uncounted ballots, vote switching, under-votes and many other examples of election totals that warrant serious investigation." Available online for free.
- Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections 2007 (produced, directed, and written by David Earnhardt; "This bold new film, by Emmy award-winning Earnhardt, exposes how voters were cheated during the 2004 and 2006 elections - and why it is likely to happen again in 2008. In factual and logical ways, a variety of computer, statistical, and election experts show how the unethical and illegal manipulation of the vote can change the outcome of every election - whether on a local, state, or national level."); features Cliff Arnebeck, Blair Berk, Mary Frances Berry, John Conyers, Clint Curtis, David Cobb, Bernie Ellis, Lowell Finley, Bob Fitrakis, Brad Friedman, Bruce Funk, Michael Grant, Andrew Gumbel, Bev Harris, Steve Heller, Teresa Hommel, Doug W. Jones, Robert Koehler, Mary Beth Kuznik, Victoria Lovegren, Cynthia McKinney, Bruce O'Dell, Jonathan Simon, Andy Stephenson, Harvey Wasserman; mentions Athan Gibbs
- HACKING DEMOCRACY. 2006 Featuring the investigations of Black Box Voting and climaxing with the famous 'Hursti Hack' on a live Diebold voting system in Florida. Directed by Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels, and Robert Carrillo Cohen. ("Disturbing stuff... it's not shocked-shocked you feel watching this; it's genuine shock" - The New York Times). Shown on HBO. Nominated for an Emmy in 2007.
- By the People: Democracy in the Wild 2006 (PBS documentary available on DVD: "An unprecedented, insider's look as events unfold over the 11 days preceding the 2004 Presidential election, By The People: Democracy In The Wild reveals who and what it takes to put on an American election.")
- Eternal Vigilance: The Fight to Save our Election System 2006 (by David Earnhardt; "documents a myriad of illegal tactics and dirty tricks... shows American democracy in its purest form by chronicling the struggle of a courageous few")
- Man of the Year 2006 (by Barry Levinson, featuring Robin Williams; comedian accidentally becomes president as the result of a computer voting error) -- see Daily Kos diary by Warren Stewart
- American Blackout 2006 ("American Blackout chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 while following the story of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. McKinney not only took an active role investigating these election debacles, but has found herself in the middle of her own after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Featuring: Congressional members John Conyers, John Lewis, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Bernie Sanders and jounalists Greg Palast and Bob Fitrakis." Directed by Ian Inaba.)
- Bought and Sold: Electronic Voting in New York 2006 (by Robert Millman; shown at Democracy for the Hudson-Mohawk Region meeting; not posted on Internet yet)
- The Right to Count 2006 ("In less than two hours, all the hard facts you need to know about electronic voting")
- No Umbrella: Election Day in the City 2006 ("an unblinking look at the 2004 US Election Day failures in one of Ohio's poorest neighborhoods")
- Help America Vote -- On Paper 2006 ("A documentary on the dangers to democracy posed by privately owned voting machines, and what citizens, officials and activists are doing about it.")
- Video the Vote 2004; description by a camerawoman ("Election-day footage from Michael Moore's 'Video the Vote' team")
- Votergate - Presidential Election Special 2004 (on Google Video) By Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels & Robert Carrillo Cohen ("We began filming this issue in 2003 when we produced a major report for the UK 's Channel 4 News, which exposed the failures of Diebold Election Systems. We retained the rights to all this footage, and found ourselves caught up in the story. We committed to continue filming through the upcoming Presidential election and beyond.")
- Bush Family Fortunes - The Best Democracy Money Can Buy 2004 ("argues persuasively that George W. Bush was allowed into the Air National Guard ahead of other applicants due to his political connections; paints a damning portrait of how over 90,000 Florida voters, predominantly black, were prevented from voting in the 2000 election; discusses the number of government contracts handed out to large corporate donors to Bush's campaign--and that's just the first half-hour")
- Fahrenheit 9/11 2004 (begins with examination of what happened in Florida around and after Election Day)
- Invisible Ballots 2004 (documentary on electronic voting)
- Electile Dysfunction 2004 ("a 58 minute invesigative documentary film by Penny Little exploring the story behind the scenes of the November 2004 Presidential election, showing a complicated and technical subject in lively montage style, interviews interlaced with dark humor, short animations and musical interludes")
- Spinning Boris 2003 (Russian) (IMDB summary: "Russian political elite hires American consultants to help with President Yeltsin's re-election campaign when his approval rating is down to single digits")
- Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election 2002 ("the riveting story about the battle for the Presidency in Florida and the undermining of democracy in America")
- Secret Ballot 2001 (Iranian) (IMDB summary: "A soldier stationed on a deserted beach wakes up and discovers that it's not going to be an ordinary day: there are the elections, but nobody seems to know anything about them. Just as an electoral urn is being parachuted from the sky, a young woman disembarks on the beach. To the soldier's bafflement, it turns out that she is in charge of the mobile electoral seat and voting on the islands; therefore the soldier is obliged to obey her orders and escort her with his rifle and army jeep across the desert, where the woman obstinately intends to collect the votes.")
Local films and videos
- Election Day: Washington County, Oregon (2008 video documentary), produced and directed by K. Shawn Edgar and Shawn Waldow. Edited by K. Shawn Edgar. Is available online for free and featured on BradBlog and Oregon Voter Rights Coalition (www.oregonVRC.org).
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles