Crawford

"Excellent"

Crawford Review


Think you've been screwed by the Bush Administration? Imagine the people of Crawford, Texas. Once the quintessential American small town, Crawford became the unwitting hotbed of all things political -- thanks to a bunch of bigwigs grooming a Texas governor for the country's most powerful office. First-time documentary maker David Modigliani gives us the thorough inside scoop of a town turned on its proverbial ear.

Modigliani shows his smarts early, opening the story with appropriately humble roots. Oh, don't mind us, we're just a bunch of rural-type folks doing our thing in this Texas hamlet of 700 or so. Crawford spends almost a moment too long on the sleepy aspect of the town... but it's all worth it in the bizarro department when Presidential hopeful and new Crawford resident George W. Bush addresses the high school's graduating class.

It seems someone in the Bush camp felt Crawford had just the right down-home Texas feel they wanted to convey to America. The Bushes bought the land, the media bought the story, and Americans got sold the B.S.

You know that serene farming landscape you see behind so many TV reporters in Crawford? It's not what you think. Neither is that sense of idyllic country isolation (one high school student reveals the town's close proximity to Waco, population 120,000+). And if you've been given the impression that Crawford residents see the President as their favorite son, you've got it wrong, too.

It's this type of curtain-pulling that makes Crawford an intriguing piece of investigative Americana. Modigliani never posits an anti-Bush point of view; his camera acts more as an invited guest to Crawford. It just looks around a little bit, gets the feel of the place. It does hang around long enough -- years, in fact -- to witness Cindy Sheehan's protest camp, anti-establishment organizations, starry-eyed pro-Bush business owners. After a while, you're likely to say exactly what most Crawford residents did: Gosh, we didn't ask for this.

Ironically, Modigliani and his crew accomplish exactly what the Bush family does: They move their way in and become part of the fabric of Crawford. The main difference appears to be the filmmakers' ability to, well, fit in. We never see the crew, but their cameras capture enough unfiltered honesty to give that impression. And not once do they cause a security issue by bringing Condoleeza Rice to town.

The biggest powderkeg in the movie -- an unexpected event for both the town and the filmmakers -- is the Cindy Sheehan protest and the throngs of people it attracted to Crawford. As part of the mayhem, Modigliani's crew captures two hyper-jingoistic nutballs who paint their faces (and their horses) and ride through town to protest the protesters. The film then edits these guys' hateful rants with photographs of them (and their horses) plastered across newspapers, including the Crawford publication vilified for its particular point of view.

With its fair approach, unlikely persistence, and general respect for its subjects, Crawford becomes more than just a revealing document. It shows a skilled hand at documentary filmmaking, entertaining above all. The film ends with a question from one of Crawford's citizens, asking the filmmaker and the audience to consider all that's happened in recent years. Yeah, it's hard to believe. Here's one more question: Is this the way it went down in Hope, Arkansas?



Crawford

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Tuesday 7th October 2008

Distributed by: Live Action Projects

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 5

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: David Modigliani

Producer: David Modigliani

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.