Gerrymandering!

by robbiefreeling
October 15, 2010 5:53 AM
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Gerrymandering, the debut film by Reverse Shot co-founder and co-editor Jeff Reichert, opens in select theaters today. Even in our dimmest moments, we Reverse Shotters can spot a conflict of interest this huge a mile away, so no, you won't read any reviews on the main site (Jeff doesn't even know I'm writing this for the blog), and whatever we all think of it, Gerrymandering will not be appearing on the end-of-year Reverse Shot top 10.

But here's the thing: truth be told, we think Jeff's movie is pretty damn good.

Gerrymandering takes a subject that could be either depressing or dry (or both) and instead brings a refreshing levity and nuance to its meticulous-but-epic survey of redistricting as it plays out across this, ahem, great land of ours. Using the campaign to pass Proposition 11, a 2008 California referendum on redistricting reform, as a loose skeleton, Gerrymandering criss-crosses the nation with a series of briskly told, engaging case studies that reveal how politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, manipulate district lines to wield and control power. Gerrymandering isn't content to blame the resulting ills on the nefarious intentions of a few evil men. Instead, it takes a systemic approach, dissecting a national political culture that is, in the final analysis, dangerously undemocratic. Despite its sweeping scale, Gerrymandering tells its story from the bottom up: All politics are local, after all, and in Gerrymandering, districts are created one line at a time in ways that affect individual communities in startling, upsetting, and fascinatingly unique ways.

So yes, I'm biased, but I've never written anything about a movie that I didn't believe. See Gerrymandering. It's thoughtful, engaging, and sobering. We need more movies like this, and we're proud of Jeff for making it. —CNW

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