Originally from NUFEC.com.
I don't generally love or hate politicians. I'm
very familiar with political figures and I follow the grotesque animal
that is politics fairly closely, but I don't feel passionately for or
against specific individuals. This certainly holds true for Mitt Romney;
however, he is a character that I found particularly fascinating due to
the unusual containment of his personality this past election cycle.
The new Netflix documentary Mitt,
which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week, follows Mitt
Romney and his family from 2008, the last year of his first presidential
campaign, until a couple days after he lost to Obama in 2012. The first
third of the film focuses on the 2008 campaign, but the bulk focuses on
Romney vs. Obama in 2012. Mitt is a personal portrait
that’s surprisingly light and funny. My favorite moments have nothing
to do with debates or political discussion, but rather Mitt’s family. We
see Mitt Romney eat at Wendy’s for lunch, sleep on the floor of an
airplane, and pray. I’m not usually comfortable watching religion, but
the prayer scenes were quite special. I felt Mitt and his family’s
sincerity and devotion. These scenes show the Romney family in a
vulnerable, honest setting, and it is truly moving.
Mitt Romney is represented as a sweet, kind, and funny person. Mitt is
essentially a dull, apolitical story about a nice person. It becomes
fascinating because of its cultural context. Thus if you are like me,
and follow the political process, it’s a rewarding intimate portrait of a
former presidential candidate.
Unfortunately, a lack of access during crucial points in the 2012
campaign held the film back. We are exposed in great detail to certain
events, like seeing Mitt’s notes from a debate with President Obama, but
held back from others, like the selection of Paul Ryan as Vice
President, which isn’t even mentioned. Not to mention that the film
really loses steam after about 60 minutes, since there isn’t a clear
trajectory. Nonetheless, the documentary was a compelling experience
that I recommend to any political junkies who would like to Mitt Romney
behind closed doors.