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11/8/16 (2017)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 1 November 2017 (USA)
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On the morning of Election Day 2016, Americans of all stripes woke up and went about living their lives. These were the hours leading up to Donald Trump's unexpected, earth-shaking victory, but, of course, no one knew that yet.
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On the morning of Election Day 2016, Americans of all stripes woke up and went about living their lives. These were the hours leading up to Donald Trump's unexpected, earth-shaking victory, but, of course, no one knew that yet.

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A wholly impartial snapshot of America, its people and their political thoughts.
3 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

I implore everyone to see this documentary. A wholly impartial snapshot of America, its people and their political thoughts. No matter who you are you will love and hate and every minute of this movie. And that is an excellent thing.

"11/8/16" follows 10 or so persons/families on the day of last year's presidential election. That is the entire movie and it's more than enough for any movie. What this movie nails is that it actually captures America. Of course you have your bleeding heart Trumpers and Clintonians. You have whites, blacks and Hispanics. But far more interestingly (and accurate) you have Sikhs, third party voters, non- voters, felons, and even an a man exonerated from death row who is voting in his first election in 30 years. Enough slices of America are covered to get some semblance of an understanding of America as a whole, which is only possible by investigating its smallest pieces and adding it up. This is the fundamental virtue of the movie.

Amassing as many viewpoints as is reasonable and cross-cutting between them doesn't allow the viewer to began an argument and make him or herself feel right. It only allows the viewer to listen, then to listen to another viewpoint, then another, then a viewpoint you had no possibility of considering before you empathize wholeheartedly with every single person on screen. Of course you'll disagree, agree and be indifferent, but it will be impossible not to empathize. There's not one single person in this movie (and dare I say America) that wouldn't have a new understanding of someone who is not in their social sphere. And that, to me, makes this the most powerful and best documentary of the year. It's at times laugh-out-loud funny, profound, academic, truthful and poignant. Five huge stars. On Netflix today.


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