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Journeys With George

At one point in the filming of this documentary, candidate and incumbent George W. Bush took the camera from director Alexandra Pelosi and turned it on her. She included that moment in the finished film, and gave Bush credit for part of the cinematography. Shortly after we see that footage, and apropos of we-don't-know-what, he tells her, "I like a good bologna sandwich." This Emmy-Award-winning documentary is interesting, if ultimately unfulfilling, as we follow George W. Bush's 2003 campaign for President, as filmed by Pelosi, as a member of the press on Bush's campaign buses and planes across the country. The film is interesting in that it shows the scale of electioneering, the "business" of it, and one more-or-less inside view of George Bush. The overall impression a viewer gets is that U.S. elections are mostly about rallies and bus trips.
But what Bush stands for never comes into question, and the result is mixed. At first, Bush seems merely a buffoon, not slow-witted, as he's been portrayed, but cheeky, and a bit chauvinistic -- almost college wiseguy. He never seems to take Pelosi seriously, but answers all her questions blithely or with what he thinks is humor. (He also seems smug.) However, the two of them somehow gain rapport, and Bush is ultimately shown to be more Pelosi's friend than with any of her colleagues in the press corps. Democrats might wish this movie showed Bush as dumb or a monster, whereas hard-line Republicans will probably wish it made Bush look more "Presidential." The press comes off worst of all, however, portrayed basically as willing to go along with him as they get shuttled from one rally to the next.((Although the movie's very watchable, at the end, viewers might be disappointed because it really doesn't reveal much of anything -- at least, not more than the nightly TV news does -- and it seems only to reflect on electioneering "business as usual." There's neither scandal nor inspiration, which might be its whole point. Even so, it leaves the viewer somewhat listless, and sadly uninformed. What does Bush stand for or against? This documentary might have his blithe answer, but it's one we'll find hard to believe.
Director(s): Alexandra Pelosi and Aaron Lubarsky
Writer(s): George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Bush, George H.W. Bush, Laura Bush, Jeb Bush
Cast: George W. Bush, George
Release Date: 2003   
Keyword: On the campaign trail with George W. Bush
Target Age: 15+   Category: government
Documentary: yes
Language: English   Reviewer's Name: Micah
Review: http://IMDb
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