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April 08, 2007

Anytown, USA

AnytownusaYou'd think I'd be avoiding politics like the plague (at least as an entertainment vehicle), given that we're in sudden death overtime in the Liberal nomination campaign here in Peterborough.

But Anytown, USA caught my eye in the Film Festival Award Winners rack at Blockbuster yesterday, what with its promises of "quirky characters, dilapidated infrastructure, and impassioned citizens." The fact that the movie is a political comedy is what sold me, of course. I don't think I could sit through anything deadly serious or overly earnest right now. I'm simply not in the mood.

Anyway, Anytown, USA was just what the political psychotherapist ordered: a hilarious romp through the underbelly of a political campaign. What's amazing about the documentary is the way the camera captures the character of each candidate, for better and for worse.

"We didn't go out of our way to make [Steve Lonegan] look bad," Fraga said in an interview with The Trenton Times ("Anytown Puts Trenton on Map") following the film's release. "But if I aimed a camera at you for months, you'd forget it was in the room too."

The result is a remarkably real-to-life look at political campaigns. But instead of feeling slightly cynical or let down by the world of politics when the film ends, you'll feel inspired. It's a pretty amazing movie: one that can restore your faith in people -- and possibly even politics, too.

Given that we appear to be on standby for a federal election, you may want to treat yourself to a copy of this movie ASAP. Whether you consider it a training video for what you may face in the campaign trenches as you work on behalf of your candidate (that's the reality component) or as proof that there are still good people going into politics for the right reasons (that's the inspiration part), Anytown, USA has plenty to say to anyone campaigning in Anytown, Canada, too.

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