6 Docs about the Campaign Process

    In the lead up to Election Tuesday, we’ve curated a selection of recent alums (2018 – 2020) that highlight the campaign process in America.

    For our Durham readers, be sure to grab some popcorn from our friends at the Carolina Theatre of Durham (takeout concessions open on Fridays and Saturdays) before streaming one of these awesome films!


    Boys State

    Boys State (Full Frame 2020) | Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

    Stream: Apple TV+

    This film dramatically captures the political motivations and strategic calculations of a group of young men who, among a thousand other Texas high school students, take part in a weeklong exercise to build a representative democracy from the ground up.


    How to Fix a Primary

    How to Fix a Primary (Full Frame 2020) | Director: Brittany Huckabee

    Stream: iTunes

    This remarkable film follows the campaign of political newcomer Abdul El-Sayed, taking us behind the scenes of the Michigan Democratic primary election as the gubernatorial hopeful and his team of young visionaries maneuver around bureaucratic obstructions within their own party.


    City So Real

    City So Real (Full Frame 2020) | Director: Steve James

    Stream: Hulu

    This four-hour series captures the city of Chicago at a pivotal moment, as residents grapple with a divisive mayoral election alongside the trial of the policeman who killed Laquan McDonald. Documenting the city from multiple vantages, City So Real highlights the experiences of candidates and citizens alike to consider how issues of race manifest across the political spectrum and in everyday lives.


    Knock Down the House

    Knock Down the House (Full Frame 2019) | Director: Rachel Lears

    Stream: Netflix

    Following the campaigns of four political newcomers, all women, Knock Down the House charts their course in the runup to the 2018 congressional midterms as the neophytes challenge powerful incumbents in the Democratic primary.


    Running with Beto

    Running with Beto (Full Frame 2019) | Director: David Modigliani

    Stream: HBO

    In 2018, Democrat Beto O’Rourke ran a remarkable grassroots campaign, traversing red-state Texas in a quest to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz. This intimate document details the candidate’s innovative approach as it reveals the toll his run for office takes on his family.


    Dark Money

    Dark Money (Full Frame 2018) | Director: Kimberly Reed

    Stream: PBS

    This modern-day political thriller follows investigative reporter John Adams into Montana’s fight against corrupt campaign financing, a struggle that could alter the devastating effects of unlimited anonymous funding on elections nationwide.