Recount (2008)

Posted: July 13, 2009 in Joe Giambrone
Tags: , , ,

Recount 2008
DVD: Recount

The 2000 election fiasco, and the theft of same, are dramatized in this HBO film starring Kevin Spacey and Laura Dern.

Recount does a few things right. It sticks to the historical record pretty tightly. It also includes some revelations that perhaps weren’t known at that moment, but were later revealed to be pivotal.


The disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of eligible voters due to Katherine Harris/Jeb Bush’s “felons list” is actually shown in a couple of scenes.

As Bush was declared the “winner” by only a few hundred votes, this blatant rigging of the election by kicking people off the voting rolls is the most clear evidence of election tampering. This practice should have brought the Attorney General of the United States into the mix, but it was mostly disregarded (except by BBC reporter Greg Palast).

Bush’s neo-fascistic brown shirt supporters are shown in several scenes attempting to intimidate the election officials into stopping the recount. Death threats are included, as are police escorts. The utter hypocrisy and bald face criminality of the Republican “team” is shown moderately well.

What was omitted was Scalia and his cronies’ disgraceful arguments in Bush v. Gore how Americans actually have no right to vote or to have their votes counted. For me, that was the end of the republic, that very night. It actually exposed the sham contract with the citizenry.

Scalia and company managed to steal an election by stopping a legitimate counting of the votes. This was the end of America as a supposed democracy and representative republic. Yes, this film could have gone further into what was really lost, and how the endless river of propaganda is designed to mask these realities. You’re supposed to wave a flag, and not think about power critically.

But, the filmmakers and HBO are serving up entertainment for a pliant middle of the road audience. They aren’t about to risk being called “biased,” and so are fearful of taking the gloves off.

Still, for a mostly ignorant public, Recount can be quite illuminating. The characters and drama are realized very convincingly. Some footage is actually taken from real news clips and cameras on the scene during the events. I’d give it a thumbs up if I did that sort of gimmick.

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