I enjoyed on TV last night "By the People", a documentary on Obamas campaign for President. The surprise was in the last few seconds, when one of the 'stars' featured, the 9 year old campaigner Lorenzo Rivera was shown campaigning for the Green Party! They had just gone throught the other people featured in the film, who had gone on to work for the Obama administration.
Chicago fifth grader Lorenzo Rivera is featured making canvassing calls. The Chicago fourth-grader is filmed making campaign calls on Obama's behalf in 2008. In the movie, filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams capture Lorenzo, only 9 at the time, handling a call to a confused voter with a calm and grace belying his young age.
What film captures the dreamy-eyed, idealistic youth and energy behind the Obama campaign and, tangentially, the willful stupidity and prejudice of much of the USA. A not-so-shining example is provided by a scene in which fourth grader Lorenzo Rivera, who has to be the youngest of all the young Obama phone canvassers, finally hangs up the phone on a woman who seems confused about elections, candidates and perhaps what planet she's on.
"I was calling people in Colorado and explaining to them who Obama was and why he was running for president," Lorenzo recalled. "But this man thought I was trying to sell him a llama. And then he thought I was talking about his wife Diana. It was funny at first, but then it got really frustrating. He just wouldn't listen to me. Lorenzo keeps his cool and ends the call with, "Hope you have a good day."
"I like being able to help people," he offered without hesitation when asked about his future. "I like the idea of a democracy and also the idea of different people being able to work together even though they have different opinions."
An HBO Documentary Films release of a Green Films Co. Directed by Amy Rice, Alicia Sams.
With: Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Robert Gibbs, David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Lorenzo Rivera, Ronnie Cho, Richard Wolffe, Lynn Sweet.
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