By The People

"OK"

By The People Review


Putting elections together in small towns across America is a daunting challenge of organizational skill and dedication for bands of government workers and volunteers. In this case study of one such event in Indianapolis, Indiana, Malindi Fickle centers her camera on County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler as the engine behind one of these complex undertakings.

The distribution of ballots, voting machines and all necessary paraphernalia, the training and assignments of poll workers, dealing with legal questions, party differences, shortages, time pressure, lack of resources, and an utmost desire to do it all correctly make for a piece of work that's not for the timid or the weak.

Sadler, an elected official, guides her small crew of government employees and volunteers with leadership aplomb and cool reserve, ever able to field questions and put fires out through election day. Our witnessing of her weeks of effort through Fickle's documentary gives a renewed feeling of appreciation for the effort involved in making our institutions of democracy work at the baseline and the ballot box, and do it every time it's needed.

The documentary approach is straightforward and as determined as the electoral subject itself, displaying nothing very special in the technique behind the storytelling -- just lots of footage, assembled with the chronology of the event into a natural structure.

As a reminder of our civic duties and a call for manpower in the form of volunteers, it works well. After two-day theatrical runs around the country, By the People aired in October 2006 on PBS stations nationwide. Touch the dial. Feel the call.



By The People

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 3rd October 2006

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Malindi Fickle

Producer: Malindi Fickle, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Liza Politi

Starring: as Barack Obama

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