Big Lever (1982)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Politics & Government  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka

In this interesting understated political documentary, the attitudes and customs of a small Republican community in Kentucky are wryly presented without additional editorial comments. Ex-president Richard Nixon is invited to the town in 1978 primarily to give the Republican politicians a boost in their upcoming elections, especially one candidate for Judge-Executive who is seen at every turn warmly embracing Nixon. This same man was convicted of vote fraud in a Federal court but goes on to win the election. And the President who resigned from office in 1974 because of his complicity in the Watergate scandal is cheered on by a crowd at a rally in the high-school gym as he expounds "America is worth living for!" In frame by frame, public relations expertise is openly accepted as political expertise, and in an interview with one professor from the South, the observation that corruption is "deeply ingrained" in American politics -- even down to the grassroots level -- is depressing indeed.